|Pacific mountain onion|
Allium validum, known by several common names including swamp onion, wild onion, Pacific onion, and Pacific mountain onion, is native to the Cascade Range, to the Sierra Nevada, the Rocky Mountains, and other high-elevation regions in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and British Columbia.
Taxonomy and morphology
The Allium validum bulb is three to five centimeters long, ovoid and clustered on the short end. The outer coat of the stout rhizome is brown or gray in color, fibrous, and vertically lined. The stem is 50 to 100 centimeters long and angled. There are three to six leaves more or less equal to the stem and the leaves are flat or more or less keeled. There are 15 to 40 flowers with pedicels being seven to twelve millimeters in length. The flower itself is six to ten millimeters, its perianth parts are more or less erect, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, and entire with a rose to white color. The stamens are longer than the tepals, and there is no ovary crest.
This is a common plant in California often found in wet meadows at elevations of 1200 to 3400 meters. A. validum prefers sandy and loamy soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant will grow in acid, basic, or alkaline soils, but only in areas with plenty of moisture and sun.
The bulb A. validum can be used as a flavoring for soups and stews although it is somewhat fibrous. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and the flowers can be used as garnish on salads. There are no noted medicinal uses, but it is believed to have the same beneficial effects on health as other members of the genus. The sulfur compounds help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and help get the circulatory system moving.
Plant toxin insecticide
- Flora of North America v 26 p 245, Allium validum
- BONAP (Biota of North America Program) floristic synthesis, Allium validum
- Watson, Sereno. 1871. United States Geological Expolration of the Fortieth Parallel. Vol. 5, Botany 350.
- photo of herbariumj specimen at Missouri Botanical Garden, isotype of Allium validum, collected at Mono Pass in California in 1866
- Cronquist, A.J., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren & Reveal. 1977. Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. 6: 1–584. In A.J. Cronquist, A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal & P. K. Holmgren (eds.) Intermountain Flora. Hafner Pub. Co., New York.
- Hickman, J. C. 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California 1–1400. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Hitchcock, C. H., A.J. Cronquist, F. M. Ownbey & J. W. Thompson. 1969. Vascular Cryptogams, Gymnosperms, and Monocotyledons. 1: 1–914. In C. L. Hitchcock, Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press, Seattle.
- California plants for education, research and conservation. [web application]. 2006. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: http://www.calflora.org/. (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)
- Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange. Copyright © 1993 by the Regents of the University of California [web application] Treatment from the Jepson Manual. Website: http://www.ucjeps.berkeley.edu (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)
- Plants For A Future - Species Database. Copyright © 1997-2000. [web application]
- WEB search engine by Rich Morris. Plants for a Future, Blagdon Cross, Ashwater, Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5DF, UK. Website: www.pfaf.org (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)
- USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)