Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.



Perennial with onion odor, taste; bulb solitary or on rhizomes, reforming each year, divides at base into daughter bulbs, outer bulb coats generally brown or gray, cell sculpture generally important to identification, inner bulb coats generally white
Stem scapose, cylindric or flat
Leaves basal, 1–5, linear, cylindric, channeled, or flat, generally withering from tip before flower
Inflorescence: umbel; bracts generally 2–4, conspicuous, ± fused, scarious
Flower: perianth segments 6, in 2 petal-like whorls; stamens 6, epipetalous, filaments wide at base, fused into a ring; ovary superior, sometimes with 3 or 6 crests, chambers 3, ovules generally 2 per chamber, style 1, stigma entire or 3-lobed
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seed obovoid, black, sculpture net-like, smooth, or granular
Species in genus: 500 species: worldwide, especially CA
Etymology: (Latin: garlic)


A. howellii Eastw.

Bulb 9–17 mm, ovoid to ± spheric; outer coats red-brown, sculpture 0 or 2–3 rows of vertical cells above root pad; inner coats pale brown to white
Stem 15–60 cm
Leaf 0.7–1.5 X stem, cylindric
Inflorescence: flowers generally 10–100; pedicels 6–25 mm
Flower 5–8 mm; perianth parts ovate, entire, white to pale lavender, midveins darker; ovary crests 6, prominent, finely and irregularly dentate to deeply cut
Ecology: Common. Serpentine and granitic soils
Elevation: 200–1850 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Western Transverse Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains?.


var. sanbenitense (Traub) Ownbey & Aase

Stem 25–60 cm, stout
Inflorescence: flowers generally 50–90; pedicels 10–20 mm
Flower: perianth parts white or pale pink; stamens exserted 2–4 mm
Chromosomes: n=7
Ecology: Uncommon. Grassy slopes
Elevation: 300–1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Inner South Coast Ranges (se San Benito, w Fresno cos.).

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