Allium spirale Willd. ex Schlecht. - Spiral onion.

Taxonomic position.

Family Alliaceae J.Agardh genus Allium L.


Allium senescens auct. non L.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial. Geophyte. Bulbous. Bulbs 0.8-1(2) cm wide, conical, entirely covered with brown, scarious tunics, arranged 1-4 on short oblique rhizome. Scape up to 50 cm high, straight, narrowly winged, terete. Leaves 5-11 mm wide, linear, flat, straight or falcate, slightly or 2 times shorter than the scape. Umbel many-flowered, hemispherical, 2.5-4 cm in diameter. Pedicels 1 to 2.5 times as long as tepals, without bracts at the base. Tepals 3.5-6 mm long, pinkish-lilac, with thin poorly distinct vein, ovate, broadly ovate, obtuse; outer ones slightly shorter than inner ones. Filaments slightly or up to 1/3 longer than tepals, inner ones subulate from the broadened base. Style slightly or up to 1/3 exserted from perianth. Autochore. Flowers in July - August, fruits in September. 2n=32.


Far East (southern Primorie Territory), China (northeastern).


Cryophyte. Photophilous. On debris slopes in alpine montane zone.

Use and economic value.

Food, ornamental. Wild relative of cultivated onions.


Kharkevich SS., ed. 1987. Vascular plants of the Soviet Far East. V.2. Leningrad: Nauka. 446 p. (In Russian).

© I.G.Chukhina

© Photo by T.A.Sinitsyna

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