California Native Plant Society
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Allium parvum
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Small Onion
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Allium parvum

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About Small Onion (Allium parvum) Allium parvum is a species of wild onion known by the common name small onion. It is native to the western United States where it is a common member of the flora in rocky, dry areas, especially in talus. This onion has a bulb one to two and a half centimeters wide and bears a relatively short stem for an onion species, reaching a maximum of 12 centimeters tall. The two leaves are sickle-shaped. Atop the stem is an flower cluster of fewer than 30 flowers, which are generally pale pink with prominent dark midveins. This plant was a food and flavoring for the Paiute people.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
4.7 in (11.9 cm)

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Clay slopes, talus

Part Shade

Elevation ?
3902' - 13331'

Annual Precip. ?
10.7" - 73.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.62" - 2.55"

Coldest Month ?
20.8° F - 38.7° F

Hottest Month ?
40.7° F - 64.8° F

Humidity ?
0.57 vpd - 20.24 vpd


Landscaping Information
Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available


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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