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Allium membranaceum

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About Papery Onion (Allium membranaceum) Allium membranaceum is an uncommon species of wild onion known by the common name papery onion. It is endemic to northern California, where it grows in wooded areas in the southernmost Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada foothills. This onion grows from a bulb just over a centimeter long which is sometimes associated with a cluster of smaller bulbs. The stem reaches a maximum height near 40 centimeters and there are two or three long, flat leaves about the same length. The flower cluster contains up to 35 flowers with white or pale pink petals which become papery as they age.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.3 ft (0.4 m)

Flower Color
White, Pink

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Wooded slopes

Part Shade

Elevation ?
637' - 5972'

Annual Precip. ?
37.6" - 85.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.71" - 2.03"

Coldest Month ?
34.3° F - 51.4° F

Hottest Month ?
58.3° F - 73.7° F

Humidity ?
1.07 vpd - 22.97 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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