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Twin Crest Onion
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Allium bisceptrum
  

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About Twin Crest Onion (Allium bisceptrum) Allium bisceptrum, also known as the twincrest onion, is a high elevation plant native to western United States. It is a perennial that thrives under damp and shady conditions or open meadows in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Utah. Allium bisceptrum is used sometimes as food flavoring as their leaves may be very strong and odorous. Natives pray before picking the leaves of this plant. Many animals in the region, including elk, black bears and prairie dogs eat the bulbs of the wild onions. In California, A. bisceptrum is distributed throughout the counties of Alpine, El Dorado, Glenn, Inyo, Lassen, Mendocino, Mono, Modoc, Mariposa, Nevada, Plumas, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Sierra, Trinity, Tulare, and Tuolumne. It is also widely distributed in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, southeastern Oregon, and southern Idaho with isolated populations reported from northern Idaho and from southeastern Washington (Franklin County). The twincrest onion is a perennial at altitudes ranging from 2000 to 2900 meters. They grow up to anywhere between ten to forty cm high. The onion bulbs are round and egg-shaped. The bulbs have a light tint and when cut, has a powerful odor. Their flower heads are about 10-15 mm in length. The flowers are a lightly tinted purple. Each flower head contains usually six petals with pointed tips. Their flat leaves usually come in pairs of two or three and give off an odor when scratched. Habitat and ecology. Allium bisceptrum is found in forests dominated by yellow pine, red fir, and lodgepole pine, and wetland-riparian habitats in California. The twincrest onion thrives near streambanks and meadows. It is also likely to occur in wetlands.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
2 ft (0.6 m)

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Meadows and aspen groves

Sun
Part Shade

Elevation ?
2970' - 10652'

Annual Precip. ?
5.8" - 94.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.53" - 2.76"

Coldest Month ?
22.4° F - 42.8° F

Hottest Month ?
43.2° F - 73.3° F

Humidity ?
1.19 vpd - 26.47 vpd

Landscaping Information
Other Names
Botanical Names
Allium bisceptrum var. bisceptrum

Common Names
Twincrest Onion


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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