Bulbs 1–10+, not clustered on stout primary rhizome, not forming rhizomes, renewal bulbs formed within coats of parent bulb, or borne terminally on rhizomes outside coats of parent bulb, parent bulb disappearing by anthesis except for still-functional roots and shriveled bulb coat, ovoid or oblique, 0.6–2 × 1–2.5 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, brown, membranous, lacking cellular reticulation or cells arranged in only 2–3 rows distal to roots, ± quadrate, without fibers; inner coats white to pink, cells obscure, quadrate, or not visible. Leaves forming abcission layer at soil surface and deciduous or persistent with scape after seeds mature, also frequently breaking at soil surface after pressing, withering at tip at anthesis, 2, basally sheathing, sheaths not extending much above soil surface; blade solid, flat, ± falcate, 10–40 cm × 1–10 mm, margins entire. Scape deciduous or persistent, solitary, erect, solid, compressed to strongly flattened and winged or not, 5–40 cm × 1–5 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact to ± loose, 10–50-flowered, globose to hemispheric, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 2–3, 8–17-veined, ovate to lanceolate, ± equal, apex acuminate. Flowers campanulate to ± stellate, 6–12 mm; tepals ± erect, almost white to pink, with prominent, darker midribs, lanceolate, ± equal, becoming rigid, spreading, carinate in fruit, margins entire, apex acute to acuminate, involute at tip; stamens included to ± equaling tepals or exserted; anthers purple to yellow; pollen yellow; ovary crestless or obscurely to prominently crested; processes 3 or 6, central, low, rounded to ± prominent, triangular, margins entire; style linear, ± equaling stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed or obscurely lobed; pedicel 5–25 mm. Seed coat dull; cells smooth.
w United States.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).
|1||Bulbs ovoid, not rhizomatous to oblique, short-rhizomatous; scape 5–28 cm; leaf blade 1.25–2 times scape; stamen 1/2–3/4 tepals; widespread.||Allium tolmiei var. tolmiei|
|1||Bulbs ovoid, never rhizomatous; scape 10–40 cm; leaf blade shorter than to ± equaling scape; stamen ± equaling tepals or exserted; known only from s end of Seven Devils Mountains, w Idaho.||Allium tolmiei var. persimile|