Allium stellatum

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Autumn Onion
Prairie onion
Allium stellatum Line Drawing
Allium stellatum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. stellatum
Binomial name
Allium stellatum
Nutt. ex Ker Gawl.
1913 illustration.[1]

Allium stellatum (Autumn onion, Prairie onion[2]) is a North American species of wild onion native to central Canada and the central United States from Ontario and Saskatchewan south to Tennessee and Texas.[3][4]

Allium stellatum grows in rocky, sandy soil.[5] It is a perennial forming a bulb. Scape is up to 1–2 feet (30–60 cm) tall with tufts of leaves which die back as the umbel of pink to purple flowers forms. The bulbs are strongly flavored but edible.[6]

The species name stellatum is botanical Latin for "starry", and refers to the umbels. This species was described for science by John Bellenden Ker Gawler in 1813.[7][8]


  1. Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 498
  2. ITIS Standard Report Page: Allium stellatum Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  3. Flora of North America Vol. 26 Page 247 Allium stellatum
  4. Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  5. Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  6. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  7. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  8. Nuttall, Thomas, ex Ker Gawler, John Bellenden. 1813 Botanical Register 38: plate 1576