FutureStarr

allium stellatum prairie onion

allium stellatum prairie onion

Allium Stellatum

Prairie Onion is similar to the rare Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum), which, as the name suggests, has flower clusters that hang down where Prairie Onion's are erect. While the bent flowering stalk of A. cernuum may be a key difference the distinction is not always so clear, as flowers of both species may initially nod. Other notable differences are: the tepals of A. stellatum flowers are more spreading than A. cernuum (but this can be subtle), the bracts at the base of the A. stellatum cluster persist through flowering, where they usually wither away in A. cernuum, and the underground bulbs of A. stellatum are ovoid and A. cernuum are elongated. Also, while A. stellatum may be found throughout much of Minnesota, A. cernuum is restricted to a few southeast counties, primarily on wooded, north facing slopes above creeks and rivers; A. stellatum habitat is drier and more open, sandy or rocky prairie. Prairie Onion is similar to the rare Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum), which, as the name suggests, has flower clusters that hang down where Prairie Onion's are erect. While the bent flowering stalk of A. cernuum may be a key difference the distinction is not always so clear, as flowers of both species may initially nod. Other notable differences are: the tepals of A.

stellatum flowers are more spreading than A. cernuum (but this can be subtle), the bracts at the base of the A. stellatum cluster persist through flowering, where they usually wither away in A. cernuum, and the underground bulbs of A. stellatum are ovoid and A. cernuum are elongated. Also, while A. stellatum may be found throughout much of Minnesota, A. cernuum is restricted to a few southeast counties, primarily on wooded, north facing slopes above creeks and rivers; A. stellatum habitat is drier and more open, sandy or rocky prairie. Allium stellatum (Prairie Onion) is a bulbous perennial forming a very compact clump of flat, slender, grass-like green leaves, 12 in. long (30 cm). In midsummer to early fall, profuse, rounded umbels, 3-4 in. across (7-10 cm), tightly packed with rose-pink to lavender flowers are borne atop leafless stems just above the foliage. Emerging in spring, the foliage usually dies back by the time of flowering. All parts of this plant exude an onion fragrance when cut or bruised. The bulbs have a strong flavor and can be eaten raw or parboiled. Early explorers ate them, but also used them to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, or to repel insects. Tolerant of hot and dry conditions, this North American native is suitable for rock gardensThe Cliff Onion has a delicate beauty when in bloom, resembling a starburst effect. Sometimes this plant is called the 'Prairie Onion,' however it is more typically found along rocky cliffs and limestone bluffs near rivers in Illinois. The foliage and bulb of this onion are edible, if somewhat strongly flavored. The Cliff Onion differs from Allium cernuum (Nodding Onion) by its more erect inflorescence and slender leaves. It resembles Allium canadense (Wild Garlic), but doesn't produce any bulbets in the infloresence. The Allium spp. from the Old World, such as Allium vineale (Field Garlic), have round hollow leaves, while those of the New World have flat solid leaves. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

 

 

Related Articles