Allium amplectens

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Allium amplectens
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Common Names: narrow-leaf onion
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Allium acuminatum, Allium attenuifolium, Allium monospermum, Allium occidentale, Allium serratum
  • Codon: ALLAMP

Photo by George Hartwell, 2003. Used courtesy of Nancy Perkins. Also featured on Main Page.


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Lilianae
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amarylidaceae
Genus: Allium L.
Species: Allium amplectens Torr.



Perennial growing from sometimes clustered and ovoid bulbs. Stem somewhat cylindrical, 15-50 cm tall. 2-4 slender leaves growing from the scape that wither early. Almost spherical multi-flowered white or pink umbels. Tepals 6; pedicals slender 1-2 times length of tepals. Stamens 6 and as long as the tepals. Tepals become papery and converge over fruit with maturity, the fruit 3-celled and 6-seeded.[2] [3]

Bloom Period

May-July [2]

Distribution of the narrowleaf onion


California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.[2]


Open or wooded areas with clay soils [3]


The bulbs were occasionally eaten by some northwest coast indigenous peoples.


Allium amplectens, photo by Lisa Hintz


Seed sample from: 2011

Average Measurement: 2.1 x 1.7 x 1.7

Measurement Range: L: 1.8 - 2.5, W: 1.5 - 1.8, D: 1.3 - 1.75


Shape: Seeds narrow at hilum end, broadening at opposite apex.

Color: Seeds black. Hilum beige to white.

Surface: Seed’s most distinct feature is extreme puckering or wrinkling. Some seeds have concave pitting, ridging, or some net veined patterns. Seeds roughly textured and matte.

Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ALAM-lat-crosssection.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ALAM-long-crosssection.png

Allium amplectens, photo by Lisa Hintz

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jepson Flora Project