Allium stellatum

Autumn Onion
Prairie onion
Allium stellatum Line Drawing
Allium stellatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. stellatum
Binomial name
Allium stellatum
Nutt. ex Ker Gawl.

Allium stellatum (Autumn onion, Prairie onion[1]) is a North American species of wild onion native to central Canada and the central United States from Ontario and Saskatchewan south to Tennessee and Texas.[2][3]

Allium stellatum grows in rocky, sandy soil.[4] It is a perennial forming a bulb. The scape is up to 1–2 feet (30–60 cm) tall with tufts of leaves,[5] which are thick, hard, and rounded on the back.[6] The leaves die back as the umbel of pink to purple flowers[5] forms in early August.[6] The bulbs are strongly flavored but edible.[5]

The species name stellatum is botanical Latin for "starry", and refers to the umbels. This species was described for science by John Bellenden Ker Gawler in 1813.[7][8]

1913 illustration.[9]


  1. ITIS Standard Report Page: Allium stellatum Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  2. Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 247 Allium stellatum
  3. Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  4. Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  5. 1 2 3 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  6. 1 2 Gardner, Harold W. (2011). Tallgrass prairie restoration in the Midwestern and Eastern United States : A hands-on guide. New York: Springer. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-1-4419-7426-6.
  7. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  8. Nuttall, Thomas, ex Ker Gawler, John Bellenden. 1813 Botanical Register 38: plate 1576
  9. Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 498

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