Erythronium multiscapideum

(Kellogg) A. Nelson & Kennedy

Muhlenbergia 3: 137. 1908.

Common names: Sierra foothills fawn-lily
Basionym: Fritillaria multiscapidea Kellogg Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 1: 46. 1855
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 161. Mentioned on page 154, 155, 160.

Bulbs ovoid, 20–50 mm, producing bulbels (usually 1–3 per parent bulb) at ends of long, slender stolons. Leaves 4–16 cm; blade mottled with irregular streaks of brown or white, ± lanceolate, margins entire to wavy. Scape 8–23 cm, branching just above leaves near ground level when flowers more than 1. Inflorescences 1–4-flowered. Flowers: flowering individuals generally uncommon in populations, most plants 1-leaved and vegetative; tepals white to cream with yellow base, broadly lanceolate to elliptic, 16–40 mm, inner with small auricles at base; stamens 10–15 mm; filaments white, linear, slender, less than 0.8 mm wide; anthers white to cream; style white, 10–13 mm; stigma unlobed or with recurved lobes 1–4 mm. Capsules obovoid, 2–5 cm. 2n = 24.

Phenology: Flowering spring (Mar–Apr).
Habitat: Open woods, brushy slopes, sometimes on serpentines
Elevation: 400–1000 m


Erythronium multiscapideum is unusual among western species (and resembles some eastern species) in its tendency to reproduce vegetatively through the production of bulbels at the ends of stolons. It is similar in many respects to E. californicum and sometimes intergrades with it, resulting in occasional populations with the bulb characteristics of one species and the inflorescence branching pattern of the other.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Geraldine A. Allen +  and Kenneth R. Robertson +
(Kellogg) A. Nelson & Kennedy +
Fritillaria multiscapidea +
Sierra foothills fawn-lily +
400–1000 m +
Open woods, brushy slopes, sometimes on serpentines +
Flowering spring (Mar–Apr). +
Muhlenbergia +
Erythronium multiscapideum +
Erythronium +
species +