Yellow Glacier Lily - Erythronium grandiflorum

Family: Liliaceae - Lily
Other Names: Yellow Avalanche Lily [E-flora]

"Erythronium grandiflorum is a BULB growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in). It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil." [PFAF]


Skin contact with the bulbs has been known to cause dermatitis in sensitive people[65]. [PFAF] The Indians always drank water after eating the bulbs because they believed that otherwise they would get sick[256]. Large quantities can have an emetic effect[85]. [PFAF]

Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Aboriginal Use

The slender bulbs ("corms") contain the carbohydrate inulin [see under camas (Camassia spp.)] and hence are inedible raw. Some Indigenous People believe the raw bulbs to be poisonous. Nevertheless, as a cooked product, they were an important food of the Interior peoples of British Columbia. The dried bulbs were traded coastward, for example to the Upriver Halkomelem of British Columbia. The bulbs were also eaten occasionally by the Blackfoot of Alberta, either fresh or cooked with soup . They were also eaten occasionally by Montana peoples such as the Flathead, but were said to cause vomiting if taken in quantity.[Turner, Kuhnlein]
Among the peoples of British Columbia who used them—the Nlaka'pamux, Lillooet, Okanagan-Colville, Shuswap, Chilcotin, Carrier, and, through trade, the Nuxalk at Bella Coola—the bulbs were often associated with "mountain potato" (spring beauty corms; Claytonia lanceolata). In fact, the two "root" foods often grow together and were harvested at the same time. Whereas the Erythronium bulbs were normally pit-cooked for an extended period, however, the Claytonia corms could be steamed or pit-cooked for only a short time. Controlled burning of mountain slopes was formerly used to maintain digging sites. [Turner, Kuhnlein]

Yellow avalanche lilyErythronium grandiflorum [Turner, Kuhnlein]

Part:BulbsPer 100 g fresh weight
Food Energy (Kcal)-Ash (g)2.9Potassium (mg)-
Water (g)21Thiamine (mg)-Magnesium (mg)-
Protein (g)4.2Riboflavin (mg)-Calcium (mg)-


Page last modified on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:46 PM