Klamath Fawn Lily

I originally thought these wildflowers growing in the open forest to the south of Howard Prairie Lake (Jackson County Oregon) in May were plainleaf fawn lilies (Erythronium purpurascens). But all the literature said the plainleaf fawn lily is endemic to the Sierra Nevada in California. It is not found in Oregon. I finally decided that these pretty little lilies are Klamath fawn lilies (Erythronium klamathense). Both species appear almost  identical, however the Klamath fawn lily is in Southwestern Oregon and Siskiyou County California while the plainleaf fawn lily only grows in California.

A native perennial arising from a bulb, Klamath fawn lilies have two wavy-edged narrow leaves that lie along the ground. The leaves are a plain green color, unlike many of the other fawn lilies whose leaves exhibit a dark mottling (resembling the spots on a fawn). The leaves are folded along the midvein.

The inflorescence arises on an erect stalk and consists of one or two (rarely three) flowers. Each Klamth fawn lily flower has six reflexed white tepals (a structure not clearly a sepal or petal) with yellow bases. With age the tepals turn pink. The six stamens protrude beyond the tepals and end in large yellow anthers.

Klamath fawn lilies prefer damp meadows and forest openings from 3,600 to 5,400 feet in altitude.

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