E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Allium geyeri var. tenerum S. Watson M.E. Jones
Geyer's onion (bulbil onion)
Amaryllidaceae (Lily family)
(Previously in Liliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Allium geyeri var. tenerum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from an egg-shaped, scaly bulb, the bulbs often clustered, the outer scales brownish, fibrous, in a coarse-meshed network, the inner scales whitish; flowering stems erect, 10-50 cm tall, slender, cylindric to somewhat angled, smooth.
Basal leaves usually 3 or more, persisting, linear, channeled, shorter than the flowering stem, 2-5 mm wide, smooth, the margins entire; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence a terminal umbel of several to many, stalked flowers, above 2 or 3 membranous, egg-shaped to lanceolate bracts, the stalks longer than the flowers; flowers pink, rarely white, bell-shaped, of 6 distinct tepals, mostly replaced by bulbils; tepals usually 6-8 mm long, egg-shaped to lanceolate, somewhat long-tapering to pointed or blunt tips, sometimes obscurely toothed on the margins, erect, in fruit becoming tough-keeled and enclosing the capsule; stamens 6, usually shorter than the tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, more or less egg-shaped, 3-lobed, with 6 low, knob-like crests; seeds 6 or fewer, shiny-black.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, banks, and rock outcrops in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent on Vancouver Island and in the Fraser and Thompson River valleys; E to MB and S to NM, AZ, NV and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Allium arenicola Osterh., non Small
Allium fibrosum Rydb., non Regel
Allium geyeri subsp. tenerum (M.E. Jones) Traub & Ownbey
Allium geyeri var. graniferum L.F. Hend.
Allium rubrum Osterh.
Allium rydbergii J.F. Macbr.
Allium sabulicola Osterh.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References