Erythronium is a genus of about 20 species in the Liliaceae family. Most of the species are from Western North America but there are also a few in eastern North America and Eurasia. They are spring blooming woodland or mountain meadow plants enjoying humus rich but well drained soil. Erythronium species and cultivars P-Z are found on this page.
Erythronium 'Pagoda' is a yellow flowered erythronium that is a cross between E. tuolumnense and E. californicum 'White Beauty'. Photos by John Lonsdale
Erythronium revolutum Smith is native to the Coast Ranges from southern British Columbia south to central California. It prefers well drained habitats that are moist (woods near streams.) It has dark mottled leaves and rose pink flowers with yellow centers and auricles at the base of the petals. Photos 1-2 by John Lonsdale, 3-4 by Mary Sue Ittner, and 5 by Kathleen Sayce.
Remarks by Rodger Whitlock: The banks of Sutton Creek, a stream flowing into Lake Cowichan on southern Vancouver Island, are lined with E. revolutum for miles upstream from the mouth. This is an easily accessible area thanks to a logging road in good condition that runs parallel to the stream. There is a BC government ecological reserve near the mouth, but the erythroniums in it are gradually waning. At one time, this now-reserve was privately owned and cattle were turned into it in the summer. Thanks to their cropping of later-rising herbaceous vegetation, the erythroniums thrived and spread. Cattle have not been run on the property now for a long time, and the usual stream-side vegetation has recovered, so the display of Erythronium revolutum in the reserve is greatly surpassed by that upstream.
Nonetheless, this is a site worth visiting if you are on Vancouver Island in mid-April. Paved road right to the reserve. The parking area has been blocked off due to the locals using it as a rubbish dump, so you must park by the side of the road. If you choose to follow Sutton Creek upstream, remember that you are on an actively used logging road and be careful on weekdays when logging trucks are in transit on it.
Erythronium 'Sundisc' is a yellow hybrid that has E. tuolumnense and a white Erythronium in its heritage. Photo by John Lonsdale.
Erythronium tuolumnense Applegate grows in rich gritty humus in open woodland in Tuolumne County, California, an area with dry hot summers. Its native habitat is threatened by logging. It has yellow flowers and uniformly green leaves and is the parent of many of the hybrids. It increases by offsets and is reported to appreciate some moisture during its summer dormancy. The first two photos were taken by John Lonsdale. On a pbs list discussion Paige Woodward told the group how many flowers the ones she grows have. Photo three and four illustrate this. "The crowd scene is to confirm that all the side branches converge in one main stem. There are 10 flowers on the plant. I found several others with 10, several with 9, many with 8 and 7. The black background is one sleeve of my rain jacket." On the other hand the last two photos from Mary Sue Ittner show her plants finally blooming nine years later from seed with one flower. Paige gave this theory for her success: " I suspect that Erythronium tuolumnense is a pig for water, duff bearing appropriate fungi, and haze-filtered sunshine such as we helplessly give it in our garden.
The next three photos were taken in March 2008 by Mary Gerritsen. We found several well flowered populations along steep hills in a river valley in Tuolumne County.
Erythronium umbilicatum Park & Hardin is native to West Virginia and North Carolina. It has spotted leaves and deep gold flowers flushed rusty red. The first photo was taken by John Lonsdale. The other photos by Alani Davis were taken of a natural population in the Florida panhandle.
Erythronium ‘White Beauty’ is considered a cultivar of Erythronium californicum