Perennial herb with one to four or more bulbs flowering stem 20 cm - 0.6 m tall Leaves: usually three to six, arising from lower half of stem, 15 - 40 cm long, 2 - 7 mm wide, flat, grass-like. Inflorescence: an upright, dome-shaped umbel of 25 - 60 flowers raised on a stout stalk and subtended by two to three bracts. Flowers: on long stalks, usually lavender, rarely white, 5 - 8 mm wide, bell- to star-shaped, with six tepals that wither when the plant is in fruit. Stamens six, upright. Fruit: a short, three-lobed capsule. Bulbs: often clustered, without basal bulbils (little bulbs), up to 2.5 cm tall, somewhat oval or egg-shaped, and encased in a brown, fibrous, netlike coating. Bulbs have a strong onion-like odor.
Similar species: The fibrous netlike coating of the underground bulbs and the lavender flowers help distinguish Allium canadense var. lavandulare from other similar-looking Allium.
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from south of the Chicago Region. Very rare in the Chicago Region. Has been found in dry gravelly soil and on a limestone barren.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Allium comes from the Latin word for garlic. Canadense refers to Canada, but is also used in reference to North America (a result of early French influence).
Author: The Morton Arboretum
Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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