Overview

Distribution

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Allium validum S. Watson:
China (Asia)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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B.C.; Calif., Idaho, Nev., Oreg., Wash.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Throughout the Great Basin on the east side of the Cascades, from Washington to California, east to Nevada and western Idaho. Vouchers for literature reports in British Columbia could not be found (BC CDC data 2007).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Bulbs 2–20+, clustered on thick, iris-like rhizome, elongate, 2–5 × 1–2.5 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, brownish, membranous, minutely striate, cells in regular vertical rows, elongate, not fibrous-reticulate, fibers persistent, parallel, few, coarse; inner coats reddish purple or whitish, minutely striate, cells in regular vertical rows, elongate. Leaves persistent, green at anthesis, 3–6, sheathing basally, sheaths not extending much above soil surface; blade solid, flat, 20–70(–80) cm × 4–15 mm, margins entire. Scape persistent, solitary, erect, solid, flattened and narrowly winged distally, 30–70 cm × 2–7 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact, 15–30-flowered, hemispheric, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 2, 3–5-veined, broadly ovate, ± equal, apex acute. Flowers ± campanulate, 8–10 mm; tepals erect to ± spreading, pink, narrowly lanceolate, ± equal, withering in fruit, margins entire, apex acuminate, midribs scarcely thickened; stamens exerted; anthers yellow or purple; pollen yellow; ovary crestless; style exserted, linear, longer than stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed; pedicel 10–15 mm, elongating and becoming stout in fruit. Seed coat dull; cells smooth or minutely roughened. 2n = 28, 56.
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Type Information

Syntype for Allium validum S. Watson in C. King
Catalog Number: US 319573
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. N. Bolander
Year Collected: 1860
Locality: California, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Watson, S. 1871. Rep. U.S. Geol. Explor. Fortieth Par., Bot. 5: 350.
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Syntype for Allium validum S. Watson in C. King
Catalog Number: US 34747
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. Watson
Year Collected: 1862
Locality: Humboldt Mts., Nevada, United States, North America
Elevation (m): 2438 to 2438
  • Syntype: Watson, S. 1871. Rep. U.S. Geol. Explor. Fortieth Par., Bot. 5: 350.
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Ecology

Habitat

Swampy meadows in mountains; 1500--2900m.
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Comments: Swampy meadows, springs, boggy lake edges at mid to high elevations.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering Jun--Aug.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Allium validum is common in California, scattered in northern Nevada, and occurs north to Washington. Previously thought to occur in southern British Columbia, but voucher evidence for these reports has not been found. It is also known from western Idaho. Livestock grazing, mining, and timber harvesting all pose threats to this taxon.

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Threats

Comments: USFS: Livestock grazing, mining, and timber harvesting are the most significant threats.

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Wikipedia

Allium validum

Allium validum, known by several common names including swamp onion, wild onion, Pacific onion, and Pacific mountain onion, has been previously classified as a member of the lily family, Liliaceae; however, it is now thought to be in the Alliaceae. Allium validum is native to California.

Contents

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 exerted and there is no ovary crest.

Ecology

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. It can be found in northern California from the Sierra Nevada to the coast, and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Ethnobotany

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 sulphur compounds help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and help get the circulatory system moving.[citation needed]

Plant toxin insecticide

It can also be used as a moth repellant. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Sources

  • 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)
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Notes

Comments

Allium validum is a Cascade-Sierran species extending east to northeastern Nevada, eastern Oregon, and western Idaho.
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