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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Allioideae
Tribus: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: Allium obtusum
Subspecies: A. o. subsp. conspicuum – A. o. subsp. obtusum

Allium obtusum J.G.Lemmon, 1890

Lemmon, J.G., Pittonia (journal) 2: 69 1890.
USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


International Plant Names Index. 2017. Allium obtusum. Published online. Accessed: Sep. 10 2017.
The Plant List 2013. Allium obtusum in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Sep. 10. 2017. Allium obtusum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 10 Sep. 2017.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2017. Allium obtusum in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Sep 10. Reference page.

Vernacular names
English: red Sierra onion

Allium obtusum is a species of wild onion known by the common name red Sierra onion or subalpine onion. It is native to eastern California and western Nevada. It is a common plant in the granite foothills and mountains of the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range, from Tulare County to Siskiyou County, from elevations of 800 to 3,500 metres (2,600 to 11,500 ft). In Nevada, it is reported only from Washoe County in the northwestern part of the state.[2][3][4][5][6]


The red Sierra onion, Allium obtusum, grows from a bulb one or two centimeters wide and bears a scape which can range from 2 to 17 cm tall. Unlike Allium campanulatum, A. obtusum has leaves that do not wither before the flowers bloom. Atop the scape is an umbel of up to 60 flowers, each of which may be 4 to 12 millimeters wide. The tepals are white, purple, or pink with dark purple midveins. Anthers are yellow or purple; pollen purple.[5][7][8][9]

Two varieties are recognized:[5][10]

Allium obtusum var. obtusum—Leaves 0.5-4.0 mm wide; tepals white with dark midevins—most of the range of the species
Allium obtusum var. conspicuum Mortola & McNeal[11]—Leaves 2–14 mm wide; tepals pink with darker midevin—from about Lake Tahoe area to Mt Lassen area

See also

List of plants of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
California interior chaparral and woodlands
Sierra Nevada subalpine zone


"NatureServe Explorer 2.0".
Jepson . accessed 1.30.2013
Calflora database: Allium obtusum . accessed 1.30.2013
USDA Plants Profile for Allium obtusum (red Sierra onion)
Flora of North America v 26 p 269, Allium obtusum
BONAP (Biota of North America Program) floristic synthesis, Allium obtusum
Hickman, J. C. 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California 1–1400. University of California Press, Berkeley. — Allium obtusum
Allium obtusum — U.C. Photo gallery
Lemmon, John Gill. 1890. Pittonia 2(8A): 69
Calflora database: Allium obtusum var. obtusum
Mortola, W. R. & McNeal, Dale W. 1985. Aliso 11(1): 33, f. 7.

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