How to Plant Erythronium Tuolumnense Pagoda Bulbs


The pagoda lily (Erythronium tuolumnense) also known as fawn lily, trout lily or glacier lily, is a mid- to late-spring blooming plants. Their name, pagoda lily, derives from their unique dangling bloom structure with outwardly winged petals reminiscent of a pagoda's roof line. The plants are small in stature reaching just 14 inches tall at maturity and bloom for roughly two weeks in April and May. Plant Erythronium tuolumnense bulbs as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness zones 3 through 8.

Step 1

Plant your pagoda lilies in the fall in climates above USDA zone 3. Select a semi-shaded site with a half day of sunlight and half day of filtered or heavy shade.

Step 2

Prepare a nutrient rich, well-tilled planting bed, amending the soil with generous amounts of compost and aged manure, if needed.

Step 3

Plant the bulbs in the soil, pointed tip up with 5 inches of soil between the base or root plate of the bulb and the soil surface. Plant multiple bulbs at intervals of 1 to 2 inches apart.

Step 4

Firm the soil around the bulbs lightly and water in well until the surrounding soil is very moist to slightly wet.

Step 5

Lay down several inches of organic mulch to insulate the bulbs from cold and drought stress over the winter. Pine needles, straw, leaf mold or shredded bark will work. Uncover the mulch in spring as new shoots begin to appear.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Lily bulbs
  • Water
  • Organic mulch


  • Ohio State University: PlantFacts-Pagoda Lily
  • North Carolina State University: Flowering Bulbs as Perennials-Pagoda Lily
Keywords: Erythronium Pagoda lilies, pagoda lily bulbs, planting pagoda lilies

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.