Tapertip onion

Secure  (NatureServe)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Subgenus: A. subg. Amerallium
A. acuminatum
Binomial name
Allium acuminatum
  • Allium acuminatum var. cuspidatum Fernald
  • Allium cuspidatum (Fernald) Rydb.
  • Allium elwesii Regel
  • Allium murrayanum Regel
  • Allium wallichianum Regel

Allium acuminatum, also known as the tapertip onion or Hooker's onion, is a species in the genus Allium native to North America.


It is found the Western United States and Canada. It has been reported from every state west of the Rocky Mountains, plus British Columbia.[2][3]


Allium acuminatum produces bulbs that are spherical, less than 2 cm across and smelling like onions.[4] Scape is up to 40 cm tall, wearing an umbel of as many as 40 flowers. The flowers are pink to purple with yellow anthers.[2][5][6][7][8][9][10] The plant also produces two or three grooved leaves which tend to wither prior to bloom.[11] Its native habitats include open, rocky slopes, among brush and pines.[12]

The onions were eaten by first peoples in southern British Columbia. They were harvested in either early spring or late fall and usually cooked in pits.[4] Both the bulb and the flowering stalk are edible; however, in the culinary arts, the stalk possesses a more pleasant flavour.[4]


  1. ^ Tropicos
  2. ^ a b Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). "Allium acuminatum". Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  3. ^ "Allium acuminatum". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Turner, Nancy J. Food Plants of Interior First Peoples (Victoria: UBC Press, 1997) ISBN 0-7748-0606-0
  5. ^ photo of herbarium specimen at Missouri Botanical Garden, isotype of "Allium acuminatum"
  6. ^ Hooker, William Jackson. 1838. Flora Boreali-Americana 2: 184, pl. 196.
  7. ^ Cronquist, A.J., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren & Reveal. 1977. Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. 6: 1–584. In A.J. Cronquist, A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal & P. K. Holmgren (eds.) Intermountain Flora. Hafner Pub. Co., New York.
  8. ^ Hickman, J. C. 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California 1–1400. University of California Press, Berkeley
  9. ^ Hitchcock, C. H., A.J. Cronquist, F. M. Ownbey & J. W. Thompson. 1969. Vascular Cryptogams, Gymnosperms, and Monocotyledons. 1: 1–914. In C. L. Hitchcock, Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press, Seattle.
  10. ^ Scoggan, H. J. 1978 [1979]. Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, Monocotyledoneae. 2: 93–545. In Flora of Canada. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa.
  11. ^ Taylor, Ronald J. (1994) [1992]. Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary (rev. ed.). Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Pub. Co. p. 76. ISBN 0-87842-280-3. OCLC 25708726.
  12. ^ "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin". www.wildflower.org. Retrieved 2021-12-11.