Allium stellatum

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Allium stellatum
Allium stellatum TN.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
A. stellatum
Binomial name
Allium stellatum
  • Stelmesus stellatus (Nutt. ex Ker Gawl.) Raf.
  • Hexonychia stellatum (Nutt. ex Ker Gawl.) Salisb.

Allium stellatum, the autumn onion or prairie onion,[1] is a North American species of wild onion native to central Canada and the central United States. It ranges from Ontario and Saskatchewan south to Tennessee and Texas.[2][3]

Allium stellatum grows in rocky, sandy soil.[4] It is a perennial forming a bulb. The scape is up to 1–2 feet (30–60 cm) tall with tufts of leaves,[5] which are thick, hard, and rounded on the back.[6] The leaves die back as the umbel of pink to purple flowers[5] forms in early August.[6] The bulbs are strongly flavored but edible.[5]

The species name stellatum is botanical Latin for "starry", and refers to the umbels. This species was described for science by John Bellenden Ker Gawler in 1813.[7][8]

1913 illustration.[9]


  1. ^ "Allium stellatum". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  2. ^ McNeal Jr., Dale W.; Jacobsen, T. D. (2002). "Allium stellatum". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 26. New York and Oxford – via, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  3. ^ "Allium stellatum". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  4. ^ "Allium stellatum". Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  5. ^ a b c "Allium stellatum". Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  6. ^ a b Gardner, Harold W. (2011). Tallgrass prairie restoration in the Midwestern and Eastern United States : A hands-on guide. New York: Springer. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-1-4419-7426-6.
  7. ^ Kantrud, Harold A. (1995). "Pink Wild Onion (Allium stellatum)". Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  8. ^ Nuttall, Thomas, ex Ker Gawler, John Bellenden. 1813 Botanical Register 38: plate 1576
  9. ^ Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 498