Desert Onion flower, City of Rocks State Park, Faywood NM, April 5, 2015

Desert Onion

City of Rocks State Park, Faywood NM

April 5, 2015

Desert Onion

What a beautiful little wildflower. To give a sense of scale this one stands about 4 inches high.

Largeflower Onion, Desert Onion - Allium Macropetalum

Allium macropetalum produces typically small but attractive bell-shaped flowers, mostly light pink but with a distinct, dark pink or purple vertical stripe along the middle. Each flower has 6 petals, and they occur in clusters (umbels) of between 10 and 20 heads. This onion can form extensive colonies, sprouting from a spreading root system. Like most allium species, the plant produces edible bulbs, raw or cooked. Favored habitats tend to be drier and less wooded than for many other species, and the plant is found across a wide area, in grassy or rocky environments.

Allium macropetalum, the desert onion, is a plant species native to the southwestern United States. It is known from desert plains and hills in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, at elevations up to 2500 m.

Allium macropetalum forms egg-shaped bulbs up to 2.5 cm long. Flowers are bell-shaped, pink to purple, up to 12 mm across, with yellow or purple anthers.