Help Us Peel This Onion

Update: mystery solved. Shady blue flowers grow along North Fork Drive.

The flowers in this photograph are blooming along North Fork Drive, near the pasture lands past the bridge, at 1,100 feet in elevation. They grow alongside Baby Blue Eyes and Miner’s Lettuce in the shade.

The inflorescences are about 18 inches tall with each flower roughly 1.5 inches long and one inch across. They appear to be an Allium species, Allium being the genus for onion and garlic. We asked a professor of forestry and all things mountainous at Citrus College in Azusa, California if he could identify it. His best guess with the information we have provided to you here is that the plant could be Glassy Onion, with these examples being a particularly blue local variation.

The Calflora entry for Glassy Onion can be found at https://www.calflora.org/app/taxon?crn=203.

Do you know the species of plant to which these flowers belong? Do you have a guess? Let us know in the comments below.

Update April 9, 2022

Thank you to “Kroper3r” in the comments for correctly identifying the plant in question as Triteleia laxa, Ithuriel’s Spear, formerly included in the Brodiaea genus.

The Calflora entry for Ithuriel’s Spear can be found at https://www.calflora.org/app/taxon?crn=8160

2 thoughts on “Help Us Peel This Onion”
    1. Brodiaea is the first thing that came to my mind before I stopped to take photos. But looking in my field guide and online I was not convinced. Both plants, brodiaea and allium, certainly occur here. But I think you are absolutely correct. My searches did not include the Triteleia genus and no doubt the site-specific search engine on Calflora does not have such latitude for related or renamed genera.

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