Allium anceps

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Twinleaf onion
Twinleaf onion NV 2.jpg

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. anceps
Binomial name
Allium anceps

Allium anceps, known by the common names twinleaf onion[1] and Kellogg's onion,[2] is a species of wild onion. It is native to the western United States, where it is widespread in Nevada, its range extending into adjacent parts of California, Idaho, and Oregon.[2] It grows in barren clay and rocky soils.[2][3][4]

This perennial herb produces a flowering scape from a bulb up to 2 centimeters long and wide. There are up to 5 bulbs, sometimes wrapped together in the brown or yellow-brown outer coat. There are two flat, smooth-edged, sickle-shaped leaves up to 26 centimeters long. The scape is erect, up to 15 centimeters tall, and flattened with winged edges. It bears an umbel of 15 to 35 flowers with two spathes at the base. The star-shaped flower is roughly a centimeter wide with six greenish-veined pink tepals. The six stamens are tipped with yellow anthers bearing yellow pollen. Once the seeds mature the scape dies and breaks off, usually along with the leaves.[4][5]

The bulbs are edible and were a food source for the Paiute people, who roasted them and pressed them into cakes.[6]


  1. ^ Allium anceps. USDA PLANTS.
  2. ^ a b c Allium anceps. NatureServe. 2012.
  3. ^ Allium anceps. The Jepson eFlora 2013.
  4. ^ a b Allium anceps. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Kellogg, Albert. 1863. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 2: 109, f. 32.
  6. ^ Allium anceps. Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.

External links[edit]

  • Allium anceps in the CalPhotos Photo Database, University of California, Berkeley