Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Allium

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1 Leaves appearing before the flowers and withering before anthesis; leaves lanceolate to elliptic (the margins not parallel for most of the length), mostly > 2 cm wide; [subgenus Rhizirideum].
..2 Leaves (1.5-) 2-4 (-4.5) cm wide, without a distinct petiolar base, the basal portion white; flowers (6-) 10-18 (-25) per umbel (fruits often fewer by abortion); spathe bracts 1-2 cm long; fruiting pedicels (8-) 10-15 (-18) mm long
..2 Leaves (3-) 5-8 (-9) cm wide, with a distinct petiolar base, the petioles usually red or pink; flowers (15-) 30-55 (-63) per umbel (fruits often fewer by abortion); spathe bracts 2-3 cm long; fruiting pedicels (10-) 15-25 (-30) mm long
1 Leaves present at flowering; leaves linear (the margins parallel for most of the length), mostly < 2 cm wide.
....3 Leaves cylindric (round or channeled-indented in cross section), hollow.
......4 Stem stout, usually > 10 mm in diameter; peduncles with a distinct swollen portion
......4 Stem slender, < 5 mm in diameter; peduncles without a distinct swollen portion; [subgenus Allium]
........5 Stems solitary, 3-10 dm tall; pedicels longer than the flowers
........5 Stems clustered, 1-3 dm tall; pedicels shorter than the flowers.
..........6 Scape 1-2 dm tall; leaves basal, 1-2 mm in diameter
..........6 Scape 2-5 dm tall; leaves cauline and basal, 2-4 mm in diameter
....3 Leaves variously flattened or keeled (flat or V-shaped in cross section), not hollow.
............7 Stem leafy for 1/5-2/3 its length; [subgenus Allium].
..............8 Inflorescence of flowers only; leaves 0.5-4.5 cm wide.
................9 Tepals 4-5.5 mm long, white, pink, or purplish-red
................9 Tepals7-12 mm long, white
..............8 Inflorescence of bulblets (and often flowers as well); leaves 0.2-4.5 cm wide.
..................10 Leaves 2-4 mm wide; bulbs simple at maturity; involucral bracts 2
..................10 Leaves 6-12 mm wide; bulbs compound at maturity (with separable cloves); involucral bract 1
............7 Stem scapose, leafy only at its base (lowermost 1/4 or less of stem); leaves < 1.4 cm wide; [subgenus Amerallium].
....................11 Inflorescence nodding, the peduncle bent 30-150 degrees in its uppermost several cm (at least in bud – in A. stellatum becoming erect in flower or fruit).
......................12 Flowers stellate, the tepals spreading; scape nodding in bud, becoming erect in flower or fruit; bulb ovoid
......................12 Flowers urceolate, campanulate, to nearly rotate, the tepals strongly to slightly incurved; scape nodding in bud, flower, and fruit; bulb elongate.
........................13 Perianth urceolate, deep magenta-purple; tepals obtuse; [plants of moderate to high elevations in the Mountains]
........................13 Perianth campanulate to nearly rotate, pink, pale pink, or nearly white; sepals acute (obtuse in A. oxyphilum); [of moderate to low elevations in the Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain].
..........................14 Plants flowering late Aug-early Oct; tepals 6-9 mm long, pale pink to nearly white; leaves moderately to strongly keeled in cross section (the angle between the two lower flat faces generally 90-135 degrees), 4-12 mm wide; [of calcareous wet savannas of the outer Coastal Plain]
..........................14 Plants flowering Jun-early Aug; tepals 5-6.5 mm long, pink to pale pink (white to greenish white in A. oxyphilum); leaves rounded to moderately keeled in cross section (if keeled, the angle between the two lower flat faces generally 120-165 degrees), 2-8 mm wide; [of the Piedmont and Mountains].
............................15 Pedicels relatively stout, 1.6-3 cm long; tepals pink or pale pink (sometimes nearly white); plants flowering Jun to early Aug; [widespread in our area, on moderately to strongly calcareous substrates]
............................15 Pedicels relatively slender, 2-4 cm long; tepals greenish white to white; plants flowering Aug; [of barrens developed over strongly acid shales in e. WV]
....................11 Inflorescence erect, the peduncle not bent.
..............................16 Ovary or capsule crested with projections about 1 mm long; tepals acuminate.
................................17 Ovary crests erect and straight; leaves 2
................................17 Ovary crests contorted or spreading; leaves 3 or more.
..................................18 Spathe bracts 1-nerved; ovary crests plane, flattened, spreading; tepals spreading; leaves 1-2 mm wide
..................................18 Spathe bracts usually 5-nerved; ovary crests contorted, ascending; tepals reflexed; leaves 3-10 mm wide
....................................19 Stems 1.5–5.1 dm tall; stems 1.5–3.8 mm wide at 1 cm above the bulb; perianth white or very pale pink; capsules smaller, the seeds 1.8–2.0 and not dimpled; [of longleaf pine sandhills and other dry sandy Coastal Plain habitats and acid thin soils over granite in the eastern Piedmont from SC southwards]
....................................19 Stems 4–8 dm tall; stems 3–7.5 mm wide above the bulb; perianth medium pink; capsules larger, the seeds 2.4–3.0 mm and somewhat rugose-dimpled; [of granite domes in the Brushy Mountains of nw. NC]
..............................16 Ovary or capsule not crested with projections; tepals acute to obtuse.
......................................20 Spathe bracts usually 1-veined
......................................20 Spathe bracts 3-7-veined.
........................................21 Outer bulb coats membranous, not appearing as a reticulate mesh of persistent fibers; [s. and se. TX]
........................................21 Outer bulb coats reticulate-fibrous, appearing as a mesh of persistent fibers; [collectively widespread].
..........................................22 Perianth urceolate, continuing to surround the developing capsule; outer bulb coats of a very coarse, reticulate mesh; [s. TX]
..........................................22 Perianth spreading, withering as the capsule develops; outer bulb coats of a fine or moderately fine reticulate mesh; [collectively widespread]
............................................23 Inflorescence partly or entirely of bulblets
............................................23 Inflorescence entirely of normal flowers.
..............................................24 Flowers urceolate (the tepals incurved, surrounding the developing capsule when withering)
..............................................24 Flowers stellate (the tepals somewhat to widely divergent, not surrounding the capsule when withering).
................................................25 Plant rhizomatous, with bulbs attached; leaf blade keeled
................................................25 Plant from ovoid bulbs; leaf blades not keeled.
..................................................26 Tepals white
..................................................26 Tepals pinkish to lilac.
....................................................27 Aerial portion of stem 10-30 (-50) cm long; pedicels very slender, 2-4× as long as the flowering perianth
....................................................27 Aerial portion of stem 20-60 cm long; pedicels slender to slightly thickened, 3-5× as long as the flowering perianth
......................................................28 Umbels of 5-25 flowers; pedicels 3-4× as long as the flowering perianth; tepals thick
......................................................28 Umbels of >25 flowers; pedicels 2-5× as long as the flowering perianth; tepals thin
........................................................29 Flowers fragrant; scape 15-30 cm tall
........................................................29 Flowers odorless; scape 20-60 cm tall