Allium stellatum

           
Pink-flowered Onion

Moosomin Regional Park
20-August-2004

The key to 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 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.

bullet

Stellatum:  Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora leading to this species.  
bullet

leaves NOT circular in cross section

bullet

leaves NOT hollow

bullet

umbel erect; NOT nodding, NOT drooping

bullet

flower stalks longer than individual flowers

bullet

flowers rose-coloured; NOT white, NOT pale pink

 
bullet

Allium: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this genus. 
bullet

plants with an onion odour

bullet

plants NOT climbing

bullet

leaves normal; NOT reduced to scales

bullet

leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, more than 5 times as long as wide; NOT lanceolate or broader

bullet

flowers in umbels; NOT racemes

bullet

flowers more than 3, often very numerous

bullet

flowers 5-15 mm long; NOT more than 15 mm long

bullet

flowers NOT orange

bullet

fruit dry; NOT juicy

 

bullet

Liliaceae: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora  leading to this family. 
bullet

leaves NOT sheathing the stem

bullet

flowers NOT born in a spathe

bullet

inflorescence NOT subtended by strongly sheathing bracts

bullet

flowers regular

bullet

perianth present, large, conspicuous, in two series of 3 segments, often brightly coloured; NOT absent, NOT small, NOT inconspicuous

bullet

perianth consisting of sepals and petals usually alike; perianth NOT consisting of 3 green sepals and 3 whitish petals

bullet

petals NOT deciduous

bullet

stamens 6; NOT 3, NOT 1 or 2