Bulbs 1–4+, without rhizome, with or without basal bulbels, often clustered, ovoid, 1–2.5 × 0.6–3 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, brownish or grayish, reticulate, cells fine-meshed, open, fibrous; inner coats whitish, cells vertically elongate, sometimes contorted, walls straight or ± sinuous. Leaves persistent, green at anthesis, 2–6, basally sheathing, sheaths extending less than 1/4 scape; blade solid, flat, channeled, not carinate, 20–50 cm × 1–7 mm, margins entire or denticulate, apex acute to obtuse. Scape persistent, usually solitary, erect, terete, 10–60 cm × 1–5 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, loose, 0–60-flowered, hemispheric to globose, bulbils unknown or flowering pedicels replaced at least in part by bulbils; spathe bracts persistent, 3–4, 3–7-veined, ovate to lanceolate, ± equal, apex acuminate, beakless. Flowers urceolate-campanulate, 4–8 mm; tepals erect or spreading, white to pink or lavender, lanceolate to elliptic, ± equal, withering in fruit and exposing capsule, midribs somewhat thickened, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute; stamens included; anthers yellow; pollen yellow; ovary, when present, crestless; style linear, ± equaling stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed or obscurely 3-lobed; pedicel 8–70 mm. Seed coat shining; cells each with minute, central papilla.
Varieties 6 (6 in the flora).
|1||Flowering pedicels mostly or entirely replaced by bulbils, rarely producing capsules or seeds.||Allium canadense var. canadense|
|1||Flowering pedicels all floriferous, bulbils almost unknown, producing capsules and seeds.||> 2|
|2||Tepals usually white.||Allium canadense var. fraseri|
|2||Tepals pinkish to lilac.||> 3|
|3||Pedicels filiform; scape 10–30(–50) cm.||Allium canadense var. mobilense|
|3||Pedicels stouter, not filiform; scape 10–60 cm.||> 4|
|4||Umbels 5–25-flowered; pedicels 3–4 times flowers; tepals thick.||Allium canadense var. ecristatum|
|4||Umbels usually more than 25-flowered; pedicels 2–5 times flowers; tepals thin.||> 5|
|5||Flowers fragrant; scape 15–30 cm; nc Texas to s Oklahoma.||Allium canadense var. hyacinthoides|
|5||Flowers odorless; scape 20–60 cm; n Oklahoma to n Arkansas, northward.||Allium canadense var. lavendulare|