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Allium acuminatum Hook.

Tapertip onion, Hooker’s onion

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAmaryllidaceaeAmaryllis family—plants that grow from bulbs. Includes onions and many others
GenusAlliumOnions, leeks, shallots, garlic, scallions, etc.
Speciesacuminatum“Having a long, tapering point”

About plant names...

This member of the onion family has small, spherical bulbs that smell like onions.

Identification: The shape and color of the flowerheads are quite distinctive. About 10-20 flowers form roughly spherical groups 2-3″ (5-7.6 cm) in diameter. The flowers are on the boundary between purple and pink.

Edibility: The onion bulbs and leaves are edible, though some are so strong as to be unpalatable. In southern British Columbia, the Thompson Indians used to gather the plants in the spring or fall, cooking them in pits.

Online References:

The Oregon Flora Image Project

Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants


SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network


Allium acuminatum Hook. var. cuspidatum Fernald


Allium acuminatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Allium acuminatum (tapertip onion, Hooker’s onion)

2/24/2010 · Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad, Cali­fornia ID is uncertain

Allium acuminatum (tapertip onion, Hooker’s onion)

6/3/2009 · Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, Utah · ≈ 7 × 4½″ (17 × 11 cm)

Allium acuminatum (tapertip onion, Hooker’s onion)

6/3/2009 · Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, Utah · ≈ 6 × 4″ (15 × 10 cm)


About this map...