Allium validum

Allium validum

name = "Allium validum"

image_width = 260px
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Liliopsida
ordo = Asparagales
familia = Alliaceae
subfamilia = Allioideae
tribus = Allieae
genus = "Allium"
species = "A. validum"
binomial = "Allium validum"
binomial_authority = S.Wats.

"Allium validum", known by several common names including swamp onion, wild onion, and Pacific onion, has been previously classified as a member of the lily family, Liliaceae; however it is now thought of to be in the Alliaceae. There are 500 species in genus "Allium", found worldwide. "Allium validum" is native to California.

Taxonomy and Morphology

The "Allium validum" bulb is three to five centimeters long, ovoid and clustered on the short end. The outer coat of the stout rhizome is brown or gray in color, fibrous, and vertically lined. The stem is 50 to 100 centimeters long and angled. There are three to six leaves more or less equal to the stem and the leaves are flat or more or less keeled. There are 15 to 40 flowers with pedicels being seven to twelve millimeters in length. The flower itself is six to ten millimeters, its perianth parts are more or less erect, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, and entire with a rose to white color. The stamens are exerted and there is no ovary crest.


This is a common plant in California often found in wet meadows at elevations of 1200 to 3400 meters. "A. validum" prefers sandy and loamy soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant will grow in acid, basic, or alkaline soils, but only in areas with plenty of moisture and sun. It can be found in northern California from the Sierra Nevada to the coast, and throughout the Pacific Northwest.


The bulb "A. validum" can be used as a flavoring for soups and stews although it is somewhat fibrous. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and the flowers can be used as garnish on salads. There are no noted medicinal uses, however it is believed to have the same beneficial effects on health as other members of the genus. The sulphur compounds help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and help get the circulatory system moving. It can also be used as a moth repellant. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.


*California plants for education, research and conservation. [web application] . 2006. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization] . Available: (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)
*Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange. Copyright © 1993 by the Regents of the University of California [web application] Treatment from the Jepson Manual. Website: (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)
*Plants For A Future - Species Database. Copyright © 1997-2000. [web application]
*WEB search engine by Rich Morris. Plants for a Future, Blagdon Cross, Ashwater, Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5DF, UK. Website: (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)
*USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. (Accessed: Feb 24, 2006)

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