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; bulb sometimes with basal bulblets; outer coats membranous, brown
Stem scapose, cylindric
Leaves basal, linear, flat or channeled, withering from tip before flower; bases sheathing
Inflorescence: umbel; bracts conspicuous, generally 2, ± fused, scarious
Flower: perianth parts 6, petal-like, ± spreading; stamens 6, attached to perianth, filaments wider at base; ovary superior, chambers 3, style 1, stigma head-like
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seed angled or flat, black
Species in genus: ± 35 species: Am. Like Allium , but onion odor 0
Etymology: (Greek: false garlic)


N. gracile (Dryand.) Stearn

Bulb ± 1.5 cm
Leaves 2–several, 25–30 cm, 4–10 mm wide
Stem 20–40 cm
Inflorescence < 4 cm diam; bracts < umbel, persistent; pedicels erect to spreading, unequal
Flower 8–14 mm; perianth white with greenish bases, reddish midveins, lobes oblanceolate, obtuse; stamens included; style persistent in fruit
Fruit 6–7 mm, obovoid
Ecology: Disturbed areas
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, Central Western California, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to S.America
Synonyms: N. inodorum (Aiton) G. Nicholson misapplied

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