Botany (Fortieth Parallel), 351, plate 37, figs. 1–3. 1871.
Bulbs 1–7+, commonly producing either cluster of stalked, basal bulbels or filiform rhizomes to 1 dm, terminated by bulbels, rhizomes generally lost when specimens are collected, ovoid, 1–2 × 0.6–1.8 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, light brown to gray, membranous, obscurely cellular-reticulate, cells rectangular, walls minutely sinuous, vertical, varying to irregular, all sinuous, without fibers; inner coats white to pink, cells obscure, quadrate. Leaves persistent, green at anthesis, 2–5, basally sheathing, sheaths not extending much above soil surface; blade solid, flat, broadly channeled, 8–30 cm × 1–13 mm, margins entire. Scape persistent, solitary or clustered 1–3, erect, solid, terete, 10–30(–40) cm × 1–5 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, loose, 15–40-flowered, globose, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 2, 3–4-veined, ovate to lanceolate, ± equal, apex acuminate. Flowers stellate, 7–10 mm; tepals spreading, lilac to white, lanceolate, ± equal, becoming papery in fruit, not carinate, margins entire, apex acuminate, not involute; stamens included; anthers purple; pollen yellow; ovary conspicuously crested; processes 6, central, distinct, flattened, triangular, margins papillose-denticulate; style included, linear, ± equaling stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed; pedicel 10–20 mm, often becoming flexuous and deflexed in fruit. Seed coat shining; cells each with minute, central papilla. 2n = 14, 28.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jul.
Habitat: Meadows and aspen groves, less commonly on open slopes in mountains
Elevation: 1100–3000 m
Ariz., Calif., Idaho, Nev., N.Mex., Oreg., Utah.
Two varieties of Allium bisceptrum have been recognized. Where their ranges overlap (central Utah and central Nevada), the putative varieties cannot be distinguished confidently except by chromosome number.