Erythronium elegans

Common Names:
Coast Range fawn-lily, Coast Range trout-lily, dog-tooth violet, elegant fawn-lily, elegant trout-lily
Hammond and Chambers
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs

The conservation of Erythronium elegans is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.


Erythronium elegans presents something of a paradox. It is a geographically highly restricted, very rare plant, that also an ecological generalist. It has been found growing in only five localities, all in the northern Coast Range of Oregon. Even within particular populations, they can be found growing quite contentedly in a wide variety of habitats: from bare soil to completely vegetated ground; in either full sun or deep shade; growing in dry shale road cuts and saturated Sphagnum moss.

Without careful management, the elegant fawn lily may one day be found nowhere. With such a low number of populations, the species is susceptible to extinction due to habitat destruction and random events. The species is listed as Threatened by the State of Oregon, but all populations are found on Federal or private land, and consequently, there is no real legal protection. Presently, the US Fish and Wildlife Service recognize this species as a "Species of Concern". If the coast-range fawn lily were to receive listing under the Endangered Species Act, four populations would fall under jurisdiction of the federal government, since they are located on federal land. Listing is especially critical since two of the most recently discovered populations are either in or adjacent to potential timber sales on federal land (Guerrant 1999). The Nature Conservancy and the Oregon Native Plant Society are presently monitoring the remaining population on private land.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research