Glacier Lilies are a wild flower. They are native to north America and grown mainly from California to Alberta and over to New Mexico.They are usually found slopes, in clearings and mountain meadows. They grow in the sub-alpine zone. That is the zone just beneath the tree line.
They are a very bright yellow bloom. They grow from bulbs that are about and inch and a half wide. When fully grown they are around a foot tall and have two, seven to nine inch leaves.The leaves are wavy and unique in appearance. They usually have one to three flowers. The outer leaves (tepals) are large and are a beautiful shade of yellow.The stamen or the male reproductive organ is white with white to bright red antlers. The female part of the flower is called the style and is also white.
The Glacier Lily is also known by other names such as Yellow Glacier Lily, Snow Lily Avalanch Lily and Yellow Dogtooth Fawn Lily. The Glacier Lily is pollinated by bumble bees and other types of bees. The bulbs are a favoite food source for the grizzly bear. The mule deer also eats the foliage. The Glacier Lily flowers from April to August in the western most part of it's growth zone. It blooms from May to July in the eastern most part of it's growth zone. The Native Americans ate the bulbs as a corn type plant. It is only one of several wildflowers that they considered to be safe for food.
The Yellow Glacier Lily is in the plant family known as Erythromium grandiflorum. It is one of the survivers of the North American wildflowers and has been around for a long time.If it is to be around in the future more of the North American wilderness areas and meadows will have to be preserved. Civilization could someday wipe out this beautiful flower if steps aren't taken to preserve it. It has been proven to be a hardy tough flower.Mankind could someday destroy what nature could not.
Bouquets of the Yellow Glacier Lily are beautiful and have very large blooms that mean only a few are needed to look good in any home.
There are examples of the Yellow Glacier Lily in the drawings of Lewis and Clark from their expeditions. They called them North American violets though they were later proven to be in the lily family.