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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Dale W. McNeal

Perennial herb; bulb 1 or on rhizomes, reforming each year; bulblets at bulb bases or on rhizomes; outer bulb coat brown, red-brown, yellow-brown, or gray; inner coats generally white (pink, red, or yellow); onion odor, taste present (except Nothoscordum). Stem: scapose, cylindric, sometimes flat or triangular. Leaf: basal, sheathing stem, linear [or not], cylindric, channeled or flat, generally ± withering from tip by flowering. Inflorescence: umbel (1-flowered in Ipheion), bracts generally 2, splitting and appearing 2+ or not, ± fused, enclosing flower buds, scarious. Flower: perianth parts 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, ± free to fused in lower 1/3–1/2; stamens 6, fused to perianth, filaments widened at base, anthers attached at middle; ovary superior, 3-lobed, chambers 3, ovules 2+ per chamber, style 1, stigma entire or ± 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: black, sculpture net-like, smooth, or granular.
13 genera, 750–800 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for food, ornamental. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Alliaceae

Perennial herb; bulb with basal bulblets or not; outer coat membranous, brown; onion odor absent. Stem: scapose, cylindric. Leaf: basal, linear, flat or channeled, withering from tip before flower; bases sheathing. Inflorescence: umbel, flowers several; bracts obvious, generally 2, ± fused, scarious. Flower: perianth parts fused in lower 1/3, petal-like, lobes ± spreading; stigma head-like. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: several(to 12), angled or flat, black.
± 20–35 species. (Greek: false garlic) [Jacobsen & McNeal 2002 FNANM 26:276–278]

N. gracile (Aiton) Stearn
Bulb ± 1.5 cm. Stem: 20–40 cm. Leaf: 2–several, 25–30 cm, 4–10 mm wide. Inflorescence: < 4 cm diam; bracts < umbel, persistent; pedicels erect to spreading, unequal. Flower: 8–14 mm; perianth white with ± green bases, ± red midveins, lobes oblanceolate, obtuse; stamens included; style persistent in fruit. Fruit: 6–7 mm, obovoid.
Disturbed areas; < 100 m. Great Central Valley, Central Western California, South Coast; native to South America. [Nothoscordum inodorum (Aiton) G. Nicholson, misappl.] Apr–Jun {Noxious weed} [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Nothoscordum borbonicum Kunth may be correct name for this taxon, with Nothoscordum gracile misapplied to California plants, or it may have been misapplied to California plants for which the correct name is instead Nothoscordum gracile (Aiton) Stearn; more study needed. Nothoscordum inodorum (Aiton) G. Nicholson to be regarded as having been misapplied to plants in California flora; both it and its basionym are synonyms of Allium neapolitanum Cirillo.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Nothoscordum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Nothoscordum gracile Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.