Erythronium hendersonii S. Watson is native to the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon and northern California. It is also part of the complex flora of Table Rocks in Jackson County in Oregon. The plants often grow as understory herbs in filtered sunlight, often in association with oak (Quercus) trees. The slender bulbs have roots that pull them deeper every year, moving mature bulbs quite deep into the soil. Bulbs can be as deep as a foot down, if not deeper. This species does not form dense communities, but rather open patches. In the wild they do not appear to offset so freely, but rather rely on seed to spread. The photo below illustrates the type of plant community Erythronium hendersonii associates with. In the picture are leaves of Erythronium hendersonii, Cynoglossum grande, Dichelostemma congestum, Fragaria vesca, Osmorhiza berteroi, and Lonicera hispidula under a canopy of Arbutus menziesii, Pseudotsuga menziesii, and various Quercus sp.
The flowers are quite fragrant, an unusual characteristic in this genus shared with E. helenae. E. hendersonii hybridizes readily with E. oregonum, producing intermediate forms with interesting central zones. It requires a dry but not desiccated situation in summer. This species is part of the diverse flora inhabiting Table Rocks in Jackson County Oregon. First two photos by Jane McGary and John Lonsdale, respectively. Remaining photos by Travis Owen of plants in habitat.
More photos from Travis Owen's southern Oregon neighborhood. In southern Oregon they bloom from around mid March to mid April.
The following photos by Travis Owen were taken in late March of 2015 on Upper Table Rock in Jackson County, Oregon. They were growing en masse under a mixed oak woodland with filtered light. Many had scapes with five or more flowers, and over a foot tall, obviously happy with the conditions they were growing in! Many were in flower, with new buds, while others were already starting to set seed.
The following two photos by Travis Owen were taken on Upper Table Rock in late March of 2015. They were of a white form of Erythronium hendersonii, with no yellow, and yet dark nectar guides at the base of the petals. They petals were wider than most, overlapping.
Seeds, photo by Travis Owen: