Bulbs 1 or more, not attached to rhizome, ovoid, 1.2–2 × 1–1.5 cm; outer coats enclosing bulbs, brown to grayish brown, fibrous, fibers close, ± parallel; inner coats white to light brown, not cellular. Leaves withering from tip by anthesis, 2–4, sheathing proximal 1/2+ scape; blade fistulose proximally, solid distally, terete, linear to filiform, prominently ribbed proximally, channeled distally, 1.5–2.5 cm × 0.5–5 mm, margins and veins usually scabrid with minute teeth, apex acute. Scape persistent, solitary, erect, terete, 25–100 cm × 4–8 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact to ± loose, 0–40-flowered, subglobose, with few to many bulbils or with bulbils only; spathe bracts persistent, 2, 4–9-veined, lanceolate, unequal, apex acuminate into beak, beak long, slender, to 20 cm, ± equaling or longer than base. Flowers usually aborting before capsules mature, if present, campanulate, 6–8 mm; tepals erect, whitish or pinkish to purple, outer narrowly obovate, inner ± elliptic, unequal, margins entire, apex obtuse; stamens included; anthers yellow to reddish; pollen yellow; ovary crestless; style linear, equaling stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed; pedicel 15–60 mm. Seed coat unknown; capsules only rarely produced.
Phenology: Flowering late Jul–Aug.
Habitat: Roadsides and other disturbed ground
Allium oleraceum is reported from New England, where it is sometimes found on roadsides and other disturbed ground. It persists and is spread easily by the bulbils.