Amaryllidaceae – Amaryllis Family
Many members of this group were previously classified into the Liliaceae family, but have since undergone taxonomic reorganization due to advancements in phylogenetics. Taking its name from the genus, Amaryllis, this is a family of herbaceous, perennial monocots consisting of over 1,600 species, including numerous well known ornamental and edible garden plants. Daffodils, amaryllis, snowdrops, onions, and chives are members of this group to name a few.
Simple, linear leaves have parallel veins and, for many Willamette Valley natives, are basal, emerging from nutrient-rich bulbs.
Perfect flowers have both male and female reproductive parts, with six stamens arranged in two whorls of three. Ovary position varies across subfamilies – Allioidea (alliums) have superior ovaries, whereas ovaries are inferior in members of Amaryllidoidea. Mature fruits can be dry capsules or fleshy and berry like.
Showy blossoms exhibit radial symmetry (actinomorphic), and are arranged in umbels at the end of a leafless stem. Perianth parts (petals and sepals) are undifferentiated in appearance (tepals), arranged in multiples of three, sometimes even fused at the base forming a floral tube. As in the case of Narcissus (daffodils), members of the Amaryllidaces can display a corona, or a ring-like, joined appendage rising from the corolla. Allyl sulfide compounds created in the sub-family Alloideae, give these plants their characteristic onion-y smell .
Allium amplectens – Slim Leaf Onion
Species Code: ALAM
Habit: Solitary, perennial monocot forb reaching 6 to 18” tall. Peduncle emerges from an onion-like bulb, leading to umbel of 10 to 50 white to pink flowers.
Leaves: 2 to 4 slim, grass-like basal leaves that typically wither by the time of flowering.
Flowers: Tall peduncle longer than leaves ending in an umbel of many white (to pink) flowers with 2 whorls of 3 showy sepals and 3 petals. Umbel is subtended by two broad papery bracts, a remnant of what covered the developing bud earlier in the season. Individual flowers each have three stamens (that do not extend beyond the perianth), filaments wide at base, ovary superior,
Early in the spring, the inflorescence head is enclosed in a pinkish, round bract before flowers are ready to bloom.
Fruits: Flowers produces capsules that contain multiple obovoid, black, smooth seeds. Vegetative reproduction also occurs as plant divides at the base into daughter bulbs.
Ecology: FACW, Facultative Wetland Plant, a hydrophyte, Often occur in wetlands but can grow in dryer areas.
Notes: May be confused with Triteleia hyacinthina (White Cluster Lily, a.k.a. Fool’s Onion), however Allium amplectens is typically much shorter and its flowers do not have fused corollas.
 Simpson, M., Plant Systematics 2nd ed. Academic Press, Burlington, MA. 2010. 220.
 Elpel, T. J., Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification. HOPS Press, 2004. 167.
 USDA Plants Database: <https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ALAM2>