E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Erythronium grandiflorum Pursh
Yellow Avalanche Lily (yellow avalanche-lily; yellow glacier lily)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Irmgard & Gerald Carter  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5441)

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Distribution of Erythronium grandiflorum
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Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a slender, 3- to 5-cm long bulb and an elongate, segmented corm; flowering stems 15-30 cm tall, smooth.
Basal leaves 2, bright yellow-green, not mottled, oblong to egg-shaped, 10-20 cm long, smooth, narrowed gradually to broad, slightly winged stalks clasping the stem at the base, the margins entire but somewhat wavy; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence usually a solitary flower atop a leafless, unbranched, smooth stem; flowers golden-yellow to cream, nodding, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals lanceolate, 2-4 cm long, 4-8 mm wide, strongly curved back; stamens 6, anthers white, yellow, or red; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, cylindric-club-shaped, erect, 3-5 cm long; seeds several to many (typically 20 to 50), brown, papery.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, edges of snow-melt, along streams and occasionally in open forests in the montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC S of 53degreeN; E to AB and S to MT, UT and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Erythronium grandiflorum

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) 22 1734 2395
Slope Gradient (%) 0 35 190
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 173 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(28), BAFA(1), BG(1), CMA(2), ESSF(409), ICH(90), IDF(18), IMA(4), MS(56), PP(4), SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References