Erythronium montanum S. Watson
white glacier lily (white avalanche lily; white avalanche-lily)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Hans Roemer     (Photo ID #10267)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Erythronium montanum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a slender, 3- to 4-cm long bulb attached to a chain of bead-like rhizome segments; flowering stems 15-35 cm tall, smooth.
Basal leaves 2, bright yellow-green, not mottled, broadly egg-shaped to lance-oblong, 10-20 cm long, smooth, abruptly narrowed to almost wingless stalks 2-7 cm long, the margins entire; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of 1 to 3 (4) flowers atop a leafless, unbranched, smooth stem; flowers white with some yellow at the base on the inner surface, nodding, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals broadly lanceolate, 2.5-5 cm long, 7-15 mm wide, somewhat curved back; stamens 6, anthers yellow; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, cylindric-egg-shaped, erect, 2-3 cm long; seeds several to many, brown, egg-shaped, angular.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Erythronium montanum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1181 1067 1323
Slope Gradient (%)
24 13 58

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

53 20 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CWH(1), IDF(1), MH(3)

Habitat and Range

Moist meadows and open forests in the montane and subalpine zones; rare on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland (Mt. Waddington area); S to N OR.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia