Tapertip Onion, Taper-tip Onion, Hooker's Onion
Synonyms: Allium acuminatum var. acuminatum, Allium acuminatum var. cuspidatum, Allium cuspidatum
The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence of taper-tip onion as seen on balds near the southern trailhead for the Ochoco Mountain Trail #823...........July 13, 2017.
The photo above shows a close-up of a flower of taper-tip onion as seen on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams north of Glenwood, WA...........June 2005.
Taper-tip or Hooker's onion is a spectacularly colored onion
with a single stem rising to 30 cm from subspherical, clustered bulbs. The leaves
are two or more, linear in shape, 1 to 3 mm wide and shorter than the scape.
They commonly wither or fall off before flowering occurs. The leafless scape
ranges from 10-30 cm high and is round in cross-section.
The inflorescence is an umbel of 8-30 flowers. The umbel is
subtended by 2-3 ovate bracts which are short acuminate and 5-7 nerved (the
largely parallel lines within the bract). The six tepals are 8 to 17 mm long,
narrowly lanceolate, with the pointed tips flared strongly outwards. Flower
color is pink, rose-purple, or occasionally white.
This is the most common and widespread of our Pacific Northwest
onions. It is commonly found in thick drifts, and may paint whole hillsides
pink when in bloom.
Hooker's onion is found on dry hills and plains, often in fairly
Hooker's onion is common from the crest of the Cascade Mts.
eastward to Wyoming and Colorado, and southward into northern Nevada and California.
It is also found in southwest Washington, the San Juan Islands, and on Vancouver
Island in British Columbia.
Tapertip onion blooming on steep balds along Forest Road #39 several miles south of the junction with Forest Road #3965, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.......June 11, 2018.
Tapertip onion in bud at left on vernally moist scablands at the junction of Forest Roads 22 and 4210, Big Summit Prairie, Ochoco National Forest.......May 27, 2018. The photo at right shows a close-up of a bright purplish inflorescence of tapertip onion as seen on scablands along the Lick Creek Trail #1809, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.......July 17, 2019.
Tapertip onion going to seed as seen on balds within the first mile or so of the Lick Creek Trail #231, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.......August 11, 2018.
A close-up of the inflorescences of tapertip onions showing the 2 color forms. Taken at Brooks Memorial State Park......June 4, 2021.
The photo at left shows a white-flowered form of taper-tip onion as seen on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams north of Glenwood, WA...........June 2005. Note the longitudinal red stripe along the middle of each tepal. The photo at right shows a similar colored form of taper-tip onion as seen on Bickleton Ridge in the Klickitat Wildlife Area, several miles northwest of Bickleton, WA.......June 17, 2017.
The photo at left shows a close-up of the inflorescence of taper-tip onion as seen on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams north of Glenwood, WA...........June
2005. The photo at right shows a close-up of the inflorescence of taper-tip onion as seen in vernally moist balds at Brooks Memorial State Park off US 97 near Satus Pass......June 1, 2019.
Note the wavy margins of the innermost trio of tepals.