Allium amplectens

Quick Characteristics:

Flower Colors: white, pink
Flower Season: mid spring
Life form: bulb

Allium amplectens Torr. is common in hot dry openings west of the Sierra Nevada in California and occasionally in Oregon, Washington, and southwest Canada. It is a variable species, with some plants forming small inflorescences, while others form much larger ones. Flowers range from white to pink in color. Not all forms of Allium amplectens are easy to grow. Photos 1-2 taken by Mark McDonough shows a pink form that is very easy to grow under normal garden conditions (eastern US), and produces a profusion of light pink starry blooms in May. Collections from arid regions are growable if planted in raised sand or clay beds. Photos 3-6 were taken by Nhu Nguyen of a form that needs a dry summer. Photo 3 show plants taken at the Tilden Botanic Garden. The last photo shows the texture of the bulb scale important in identification of many American alliums.

Allium amplectens, Mark McDonoughAllium amplectens, Mark McDonoughAllium amplectens, Tilden Botanic Garden, Nhu NguyenAllium amplectens, Nhu NguyenAllium amplectens, Nhu NguyenAllium amplectens, bulb scale, Nhu Nguyen

The first two photos were taken by Nhu Nguyen. The first is a habitat shot (Lake County, CA) showing this species growing near a stream bed. This form is able to grow on serpentine soil. The second shows a white form of this species which requires a dry summer dormancy. The last three photos by Mary Sue Ittner shows plants photographed in April 2005 at Pinnacles National Park and plants flowering in the Vina Plains Preserve in April 2006.

Allium amplectens, in habitat, Nhu NguyenAllium amplectens, white form, Nhu NguyenAllium amplectens, Pinnacles, Mary Sue IttnerAllium amplectens, Pinnacles, Mary Sue IttnerAllium amplectens, Vina Plains, Mary Sue Ittner

Allium amplectens 'Graceful' is an easily grown adaptable selection. Here are photos taken by Travis Owen showing plant in various stages of growth. The first photo shows the leaf bract towards the base, possibly a helpful characteristic to identifying the species.

Allium amplectens, February 2015, Travis OwenAllium amplectens, April 2015, Travis OwenAllium amplectens 'Graceful', May 2015, Travis OwenAllium amplectens 'Graceful' with Geranium sanguineum in the garden, May 2015, Travis Owen

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