Inflorescence Side, in Ground
West Block, Cypress Hills
Note how the peduncle is curved just below the umbel, creating the nodding effect. Also note the spathe, divided into two translucent bracts.
The key to the families in Budd's Flora requires that the flowers of Liliaceae NOT be born in a spathe. However the umbels in genus Allium arise from a spathe that divides into 1-3 bracts. These bracts are different from the leaf-like spathes of Iridaceae, and it is this family the flora is trying to separate from Liliaceae with this question.
The key to the families in Budd's Flora also requires that the inflorescences of Liliaceae NOT be subtended by strongly sheathing bracts. This question is meant to separate Liliaceae from Commelinaceae, the Spiderwort family. There is only one species in this family found in the Canadian prairies (Tradescantia occidentalis or Western Spiderwort), and it is rare, showy, and cannot be confused with any member of Allium.
Cernuum: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this species.
Allium: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this genus.
Liliaceae: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora leading to this family.