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Allium kunthii G. Don
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Kunth's onion,  more...
[Allium scaposum Benth.,  more]
Allium kunthii image
Patrick Alexander  
Bulbs 1-4+, rhizomes, if present, secondary, inconspicuous, 2 cm or less including renewal bulb, ± thick, terminated by new bulb, parent bulbs disappearing by anthesis except for still-functional roots and bulb coat, not basally clustered, ovoid, 1-2 × 0.8-1.5 cm; outer coats enclosing renewal bulbs or not, grayish or brownish, with or without obscure, delicate, cellular markings, sometimes striate, membranous, cells elongate, in regular vertical rows, without fibers; inner bulb coats whitish or pinkish, cells obscure, ± quadrate or rectangular and vertically elongate. Leaves persistent, green at anthesis, 2-5, basally sheathing, sheaths not extended much above soil surface; blade solid, flat, channeled, 10-21 cm × 1-3 mm, margins and veins sometimes denticulate. Scape persistent, solitary, occasionally 2 or more produced successively from single bulb, erect, solid, terete, 15-30 cm × 1-3 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, loose, 5-20-flowered, conic, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 2, 3-5-veined, lanceolate, apex acuminate. Flowers stellate to campanulate, 4-8 mm; tepals ± spreading, white or pale pink (particularly on midribs), lanceolate, ± equal, becoming papery and withering in fruit, margins entire, apex acute to acuminate; stamens included; anthers yellow or purple; pollen yellow; ovary crestless; style linear, equaling stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed; pedicel unequal, 10-20 mm. Seed coat dull; cells ± smooth. 2n = 14. Flowering Jul--Sep. Dry, rocky hills and mountains, usually in limestone soils; 700--3000 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico. Allium longifolium (Kunth) Sprengel (1825), based on Schoenoprasum longifolium Kunth (1816), may be the same as A. kunthii; the type material is inadequate for definite determination.