California Native Plant Society
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Allium sharsmithiae
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Sharsmith's Onion
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Allium sharsmithiae

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About Sharsmith's Onion (Allium sharsmithiae) Allium sharsmithiae, called the Mount Hamilton onion or Helen Sharsmith's onion, is a rare species of wild onion endemic to a small region in California. It is found on serpentine soils in the vicinity of Mount Hamilton, in the Diablo Range south of San Francisco Bay in Santa Clara, Alameda and Stanislaus Counties. Allium sharsmithiae produces round to egg-shaped bulbs up to 2 cm in diameter. Flowering stalk is round in cross section, not hollow, up to 20 cm tall. Flowers are urn-shaped, up to 2 cm in diameter; tepals deep reddish-purple; anthers and pollen yellow.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
7.9 in (20.1 cm)

Flower Color
Purple, Red

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
882' - 3655'

Annual Precip. ?
14.3" - 24.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.29" - 0.39"

Coldest Month ?
48.3° F - 50.8° F

Hottest Month ?
64.6° F - 72.7° F

Humidity ?
4.18 vpd - 20.50 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never 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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