Species (common name, Latin name)

White Avalanche Lily/White Glacier Lily ,Erythronium montanum



From southern British Columbia south throughout Oregon

Climate, elevation

The climate type for this species is alpine tundra & boreal. It is usually found between 1100 and 1200 ft.


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Olympic mountains of Washington; Vancouver Island, British Columbia; and west of the Cascade crest in southern Washington and Oregon


Habitat preferences

Moist meadows and open forests in the montane and subalpine zones


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Seral; Climax



May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Seed, Bulb, Cutting,


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification. Fresh seed can be planted and will successfully germinate.


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)

Can be stored as a bulb or seed. Can be stored for several years in a cool dark environment.


Recommended seed storage conditions

Refrigerated and kept in dark dry area.


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

The seed can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. Water lightly in summer, it should germinate in autumn or winter. Sow as early in spring as possible in a cold frame. Sow the seed thinly so that it will not be necessary to prick them out for their first year of growth. Give an occasional liquid feed to the seedlings to make sure that they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants are dormant, pot up the small bulbs putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them in a shady position in the greenhouse for another 2 - 3 years and then plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant in late summer. Not much literature is available about vegetative propagation of this species.



Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Prefers slightly acid soil conditions but succeeds in chalky soils if these contain plenty of humus. Requires semi-shade, preferably provided by trees or shrubs, and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in almost any light soil, preferring one that is rich in humus.


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

Seeds and bulbs are both a reliable source for propagating lillies and require little cost.


Recommended planting density

In a 14 x 9 tray anywhere from 200 to 1000 seeds can be sprinkled on top of the medium. 2-3 bulbs can be placed in a bucket to let germinate.


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

The medium should be kept moist but should be a light well draining mix so as not to over saturate the maturing plant.


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Lilies are perennial and an individual plant can survive for several years


Sources cited

1. Pubic library and digital Archive [http://www.ibiblio.org]

2. Blackdown Lilies http://www.lilies.org.uk/

3. The Burke Museum Herbarium database [http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php?Genus=Erythronium&Species=montanum]

4. E-Flora BC: Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [www.eflora.bc.ca].


Data compiled by (student name and date)

Pat Kendzierski 5/10/05