Erythronium grandiflorum

Annkelliott posted today’s Botany Photo of the Day in our Flickr Pool last weekend. Ann was also kind enough to provide a brief account of her encounter with the plant, which we have included as the first part of this entry. (Original Image)

"It was a real treat yesterday," Ann writes from Calgary, "to have the chance to go on the Ptarmigan Cirque Trail in Kananaskis, Rocky Mountains! The trail is quite steep, leading up to alpine meadows and amazing views over deep valleys, scree slopes, and jagged, barren mountain peaks. We saw different plants up there, of course; ones that we don’t get in the city. The lovely yellow Glacier Lily, seen above, is just one of them. Today, I am letting my body recover before setting out on a day of botanizing tomorrow, returning to a lovely property near Millarville, southwest of the city. We are so lucky being allowed to go back again, to record more of the plants, birds, insects, animals and fungi, etc."

Erythronium, a genus included in the lily family (Liliaceae), consists of between 20 and 30 bulbous perennial species, most of which are native to the temperate regions of North America. In spring, the plants—which enjoy the well-drained, humus-rich soil of woodland and montane meadows—put forth showy pendant flowers. The plant featured in today’s photo, Erythronium grandiflorum, generally grows only one flower, though some specimens have been found equipped with inflorescences that support as many as five blossoms. The flowers bear 5 6 (21/07/2009) upwardly curved tepals that range from vivid yellow to creamy white in colour, and they produce a pollen that ranges from bright yellow to rich red in hue. Though they do serve as garden ornamentals, the plants tend to frustrate the gardener that attempts to cultivate them outside of their native conditions. Historically, the plant’s bulbs served as a staple crop for several of North America’s First Nations tribes.

Erythronium grandiflorum

20 responses to “Erythronium grandiflorum”

  1. sheila

    Exquisite. Thank you.

  2. Sue in Bremerton

    What a great way to spend the summer, and looking at just one result is and exquisite experience for me. Just think of the fun she will have this winter, looking over last summer. Peace.

  3. Julie

    There is something about the lily family that I just adore. I ache to see this gorgeous plant up close and personal. Beautiful photo.

  4. LnddMiles

    Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!

  5. Annie Morgan

    Beautifully photographed.

  6. LnddMiles

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really liked reading your blog posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  7. deanna

    How lucky we are to be able to share in your work by viewing your pictures. Gorgeous! Thank you all.

  8. Cambree

    Simply beautiful!
    Cheerful color too.

  9. LnddMiles

    The best information i have found exactly here. Keep going Thank you

  10. Viola

    Perfect sharp focus on photograph of this lovely flower. The stamens and pistil show up so clearly; one even sees the tiny grains. Kudos to the photographer for this beauty.
    Don’t all lilies have SIX tepals? Are there not two together on the right, looking as one, in the picture?

  11. Eric Simpson

    Yes, that should be six tepals (or “perianth segments” per The Jepson Manual).
    Btw, I really like the shadow of the flower on the leaf below.

  12. Stephen Coughlin (summer student 2009)

    Hello all,
    The above two posts are in fact correct: today’s featured species has six rather than five tepals. The oversight was entirely my own. Apologies.

  13. elizabeth a airhart

    delightful
    there are images of the lily
    they call glacier on the us forest service
    web site with a grand wiew of the lilies
    in bloom in gunnison national forest
    a lovely carpet of yellow under the trees
    thank you

  14. LnddMiles

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really liked reading your blog posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  15. Quin

    this sp. finds its way down to northern ca. – another sp., E. purpurascens down here has the sweetest niche blooming period. it pops-up as the snow receeds and flowers only a foot or so below the fleeting snow banks – truly a harbinger of spring-to-come! makes me weak in the knees…..

  16. Essie

    Thanks for sharing. I love lilies

  17. LnddMiles

    The best information i have found exactly here. Keep going Thank you

  18. Aida

    As a photographer, I can appreciate how difficult it is to a good close up of this tiny flower. Kudos to the photographer and thanks for posting.

  19. Aida

    In Ontario,these are called Trout Lilies and grows on slopes in the forest. Is it the same species or just a distant cousin?

  20. Guido MEEUS

    This a very beautiful species.
    I want just give the information of an european species of this genus is Erythronium dens-canis whitch is flowering in the early spring in the Alps.
    Thanks for your web site. A wonerful photo each day of everywhere in the world.

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