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

Allium acuminatum Hook.
Hooker's onion (tapertip onion)
Amaryllidaceae (Lily family)
(Previously in Liliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gary Ansell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12930)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Allium acuminatum
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from an egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped, scaly bulb, the outer scales brownish, with a prominent fibrous network, the inner scales white; flowering stems erect, 10-30 cm tall, slender, round in cross-section, smooth.
Basal leaves 2 to 3 or more, linear, cylindric, shorter than to about as long as the flowering stem, 1-3 mm wide, smooth, the margins entire; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence an open, terminal umbel of several to many, stalked flowers, above 2 membranous, broadly lanceolate bracts, the stalks 1-3 cm long; flowers rose-pink to whitish, bell-shaped, of 6 distinct tepals, the tepals mostly 10-12 mm long, lanceolate, gradually tapering to pointed tips, the inner 3 with fine-toothed margins, the outer 3 larger, entire, the tips widely spreading to curved back; stamens 6, about 2/3 as long as the tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, more or less egg-shaped, 3-lobed, with 3 very small, rounded crests; seeds 6 or fewer, dull-black.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky bluffs, Garry Oak woodlands and meadows in the lowland and steppe zones; infrequent on SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Fraser Valley, north to Lytton and Pemberton; S to NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Allium acuminatum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 31 151 285
Slope Gradient (%) 0 41 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
38 178 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(10), PP(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A very shade-intolerant, montane, Western North American forb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates very dry to moderately dry and nitrogen-medium soils. Its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, precipitation, and continentality. Scattered in the open and in open-canopy forests on water-shedding sites with shallow soils. Characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Allium acuminatum var. cuspidatum Fernald

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References