8 responses to “Erythronium montanum”

  1. Janet

    Thank you, Brent in Oregon, for sending this lovely photo of avalanche lily flowers.

  2. Sue in Bremerton WA

    Oh What a pretty flower. My sister would have loved it, as her favorite color was yellow, and this one would have touched her heart. I wish that I knew how big the flower is in real life. I bet it is a little tiny blossom, maybe an inch long from stem to tip of petal. Sometimes size is so hard to judge from these beautiful photos.

  3. safari

    Hi Raakel and Daniel,
    The intimate connection between botany and etymology is always a fascinating one and certainly from my perspective as a schoolboy in Scotland studying Latin and Greek whilst surrounded by Rowans (see below) and a multitude of other robust, rufous, or otherwise rubicund plants, a world all its own.
    The following description of the Indo-European root etymology of the oldest form derived from the Greek will switch you on to even more uses and derivations from the prefix eruthro:

  4. Paddy

    From delicate-flowered erythroniums to hard-edged rubies in the click of a link – what a joy!

  5. Ron B

    Regarding the basis for the genus name I’d try
    The Plant-Book
    A Portable Dictionary of the Vascular Plants
    2nd Edition
    D. J. Mabberley
    University of Oxford and University of Leiden, if you haven’t already.

  6. Michael F

    According to the New RHS Dictionary, Erythronium is from the flower colour of the first species described Erythronium dens-canis. Plants for a Future doesn’t mention any usage for dyes: http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Erythronium+dens-canis
    Flower size – the tepals (‘petals’) are 2-2.5 cm long and 7-15 mm wide:

  7. David in L A

    de l’Obel thought that this was the plant Dioscorides called Satyrion erythronion, which was describes as having seeds like flax but larger, firm and shining and a sweet white root with a reddish rind, shaped like testicles and therefore believed to be an aphrodisiac. Others have idetified Dioscorides’ plant as Fritillaria graeca or Scilla bifolia.

  8. max

    Thanks for the excellent info, David: there is nothing reddish about E. dens-canis flowers. There is a german translation of Dioscurides here:

    which only confirms that L’Obel was confused: the bulbs aren’t reddish either, as you can see from Ian Young’s pictures on this page:


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