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Tolmie's Onion
Allium tolmiei

About Tolmie's Onion (Allium tolmiei) Allium tolmiei is a species of wild onion native to the northwestern United States, and found in Lassen, Trinity and Modoc counties in California. It has white or pink flowers, and thick curving green leaves. Allium is the onion genus, with 600-750 species, making it one of the largest plant genera in the world. Tolmie's Onion is one of them. William Fraser Tolmie (aka "Dr. Tolmie") (February 3, 1812 - December 8, 1886) was a Canadian surgeon, fur trader, scientist, and politician. He was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1812 and by 1833 moved to the Pacific Northwest in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). Plants bearing his name include Tolmie's star-tulip (Calochortus tolmiei) and Tolmie's onion (Allium tolmiei).
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 ft (0.3 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
Red, Pink, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky clay flats


Elevation ?
4148' - 8270'

Annual Precip. ?
7.1" - 49.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.54" - 2.44"

Coldest Month ?
26.8° F - 34.3° F

Hottest Month ?
47.4° F - 63.7° F

Humidity ?
0.91 vpd - 19.48 vpd

Soil Description
Adaptable, tolerant of sand, loam and clay


Landscaping Information
Common uses
Bee Gardens

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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