Allium cepa L.
Garden onion; Cultivated Onion
Life   Plantae   Monocotyledoneae   Liliaceae   Allium --->
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Allium cepa, seed
© Copyright Seeds USID 2015 · 1
Allium cepa, seed

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Andrenidae  Andrena prunorum @ BBSL (3)
Aphalaridae  Aphalara calthae @ CSCA_TCN (1)
Aphididae  Myzus ( @ CSCA_TCN (9)

Neotoxoptera formosana @ NCSU (18); CSCA_TCN (11)

Neotoxoptera violae @ NCSU (11)

Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominale @ CSCA_TCN (1)
Apidae  Bombus centralis @ BBSL (2)

Bombus citrinus @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Bombus griseocollis @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Bombus morrisoni @ BBSL (2)

Bombus nevadensis @ BBSL (1)
Botryosphaeriaceae  Diplodia gossypina @ BPI (1)

Diplodia natalensis @ BPI (3)

Phyllosticta allii @ BPI (1)

Phyllosticta @ BPI (1)
Chaetosphaerellaceae  Cladotrichum sparsa @ BPI (1)
Colletidae  Colletes fulgidus @ BBSL (2)

Colletes phaceliae @ BBSL (1)
Davidiellaceae  Cladosporium herbarum @ BPI (1)

Cladosporium sparsum @ BPI (1)

Cladosporium @ BPI (1)
Fomitopsidaceae  Sporotrichum flavissimum @ BPI (1)
Glomerellaceae  Colletotrichum circinans @ 397228A (1); 397236C (1); BPI (5); 397228B (1); 397236B (1); 397236A (1)

Colletotrichum dematium @ BPI (2)

Colletotrichum gloeosporioides @ BPI (1)
Halictidae  Agapostemon virescens @ CUIC_ENT (2)

Halictus farinosus @ BBSL (3)

Halictus ligatus @ BBSL (1)

Halictus tripartitus @ BBSL (1)

Lasioglossum cinctipes @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum quebecense @ CUIC_ENT (3)

Lasioglossum truncatum @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Lasioglossum zonulum @ CUIC_ENT (1)

Sphecodes minor @ CUIC_ENT (2)
Margarodidae  Heteromargarodes americanus @ CSCA_TCN (4)
Megachilidae  Coelioxys rufitarsis @ BBSL (1)

Osmia rufa @ BBSL (1)
Mycosphaerellaceae  Cercospora duddiae @ 436012A (1); 436012B (1); BPI (2)

Heterosporium allii-cepae @ BPI (1)

Heterosporium allii @ 442932B (1); 442932A (1); BPI (3)

Mycosphaerella allicina @ BPI (2)

Mycosphaerella schoenoprasi @ BPI (4)
Nectriaceae  Fusarium malli @ BPI (1)

Fusarium oxysporum @ BPI (1)

Fusarium solani @ BPI (1)

Fusarium @ 451433B (1); 451433A (1)
Peronosporaceae  Peronospora destructor @ BPI (9)

Peronospora schleideni @ BPI (43)
Pleomassariaceae  Helminthosporium @ BPI (1)
Pleosporaceae  Alternaria allii @ BPI (2)

Alternaria circinans @ BPI (1)

Alternaria iranica @ BPI (1)

Alternaria palandui @ BPI (1)

Alternaria porri @ 446490A (1); 446490B (1); 446493B (1); BPI (9); 446493A (1)

Alternaria tenuis @ BPI (1)

Alternaria vanuatuensis @ BPI (1)

Alternaria @ BPI (1)

Curvularia lunata @ 443692B (1); 443692A (1); 443691A (1); 443691B (1)

Curvularia @ BPI (1)

Drechslera spicifera @ BPI (1)

Macrosporium alliorum @ BPI (1)

Macrosporium parasiticum @ 445393B (1); BPI (3); 445391A (1); 445395A (1); 445391B (1); 445393A (1); 445395B (1)

Macrosporium porri @ BPI (9)

Macrosporium sarcinula @ BPI (1)

Macrosporium @ BPI (2)

Pleospora allii @ BPI (11)

Pleospora herbarum @ BPI (9)

Pleospora socialis @ BPI (1)

Stemphylium botryosum @ BPI (4)

Stemphylium lycopersici @ 444832B (1); 444832A (1)

Stemphylium parasiticum @ 444633A (1); 444639B (1); 444639A (1); BPI (5); 444633B (1)

Stemphylium sarcinula @ BPI (1)
Pucciniaceae  Puccinia allii @ BPI (4)

Puccinia asparagi @ BPI (7)

Puccinia porri @ BPI (9)
Sclerotiniaceae  Botrytis allii @ BPI (17)

Botrytis byssoidea @ BPI (4)

Botrytis cinerea @ BPI (2)

Botrytis fulva @ BPI (1)

Botrytis squamosa @ BPI (5)

Botrytis vulgaris @ BPI (1)

Botrytis @ BPI (5)

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum @ BPI (1)
Trichocomaceae  Aspergillus niger @ BPI (5)

Aspergillus phoenicis @ BPI (1)
Turritellidae  Vermicularia circinans @ BPI (17)

Vermicularia dematium @ BPI (2)
Typhulaceae  Sclerotium cepae @ BPI (1)

Sclerotium cepivorum @ 456480B (1); 456467A (1); 456467B (1); BPI (11); 456480A (1)

Sclerotium rolfsii @ BPI (1)

Sclerotium @ BPI (1)
Urocystaceae  Urocystis cepulae @ BPI (86)
Uropyxidaceae  Aecidium @ BPI (1)
Ustilaginaceae  Ustilago allii @ BPI (3)
_  Papulaspora coprophila @ BPI (1)

Papulaspora dodgei @ BPI (1)

Papulaspora @ 410081A (1); 410081B (1)

Piricauda paraguayensis @ BPI (1)

Pyrenochaeta terrestris @ BPI (2)

Sterigmatocystis nigra @ BPI (5)

Sterigmatocystis phaeocephala @ BPI (1)

Tuburcinia cepulae @ BPI (1)

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Allium cepa  L.


Allium cepa plant

Family - Liliaceae

Habit - Perennial forb from a bulb.

Stems - Erect, to 1.5 m, inflated near base, glabrous.

Leaves - Restricted to basal half of stem, to 50 cm long, 15 mm in diameter, linear, terete, hollow, usually glaucous.

Inflorescence - Umbels with any combination of flowers and sessile bulblets. Flower stalks much longer than flowers.

Allium cepa bract

Flowers - Perianth bell-shaped. Tepals 4-7 mm long, narrowly ovate, deep pink to greenish white.

Allium cepa flowers

Fruits - Capsules 3-5 mm long, globose to depressed-globose, 3-lobed, the angles or lobes with a thickened ridge.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Cultivated and uncommonly escaped to waste ground. Also persistent around old homesites.

Origin - Native to southwestern Asia.

Other info. - This is the common culinary onion. This species can be found growing wild in just a handful of Missouri counties but it is cultivated nearly throughout the state. It almost never escapes far from cultivation and usually will not persist long after cultivation. There are many different varieties grown around the world for food and for ornament. Some varieties produce showy flowers, some produce tasty, large bulbs and few or no flowers. Agricultural onions are categorized as long- or short-day types, corresponding to those most appropriate to southern or northern latitudes, respectively. The formation of large bulbs is triggered by the day length reaching a certain value predetermined by the onion type.

As most of us know by now, cutting an onion can make your eyes tear. The chemical responsible for this is syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which is produced enzymatically when cell walls are cut or ruptured.

Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 6-24-03.

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Allium cepa L.
garden onion

Image of Allium cepa

General Information
Symbol: ALCE
Group: Monocot
Family: Liliaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   I
PB   I
Data Source and Documentation
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Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Allium thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

Tracey Slotta. Provided by ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory . United States, CA, Santa Cruz. Usage Requirements .



Symbol Scientific Name Other Common Names
ALCEA2 Allium cepa L. var. aggregatum G. Don
ALCEC Allium cepa L. var. cepa garden onion
ALCEM Allium cepa L. var. multiplicans L.H. Bailey
ALCEP Allium cepa L. var. proliferum (Moench) Regel
ALCES Allium cepa L. var. solaninum Alef.


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae – Lily family
Genus Allium L. – onion
Species Allium cepa L. – garden onion

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Noxious Weed Information
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete noxious weed list for that location, or click here for a composite list of all Federal and State Noxious Weeds .
Arkansas Allium
wild onion, wild garlic Noxious weed

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (ALCE)
CalPhotos (ALCE)
Flora of North America (ALCE)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ALCE)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ALCEA2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ALCEC)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ALCEM)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ALCEP)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ALCES)
Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (ALCE)
Kemper Center for Home Gardening (ALCE)
Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn) (ALCE)
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium (ALCE)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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FNA Vol. 26 Page 225, 228, 244 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Liliaceae | Allium

22. Allium cepa Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 301. 1753.

Cultivated onion

Bulbs 1—3, not rhizomatous, mostly depressed-globose, varying in size from cultivar to cultivar, 5—8 × 3—10 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, yellowish brown, red, or white, membranous, without reticulation; inner coats white to pink, cells obscure to quadrate. Leaves persistent, 4—10, sheathing proximal 1/6—1/4 scape; blade fistulose, usually ± semicircular in cross section, 10—50 cm × 4—20 mm. Scape persistent, solitary, erect, fistulose, inflated below middle, 30—100 cm × 3—20 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact, to 500-flowered, globose, bulbils occasionally found; spathe bracts caducous, 2—3, 3—4-veined, ovate, ± equal, apex acute to acuminate. Flowers stellate to campanulate to urceolate, 3—7 mm; tepals erect to ± spreading, white to pink with greenish midveins, withering in fruit, margins entire, apex obtuse or acute, outer ovate, inner oblong; stamens exserted; anthers white; pollen white; ovary crestless; style linear, ± equaling stamens; stigma capitate, unlobed; pedicel 10—50 mm. Seed coat not known.

Flowering Jun--Aug. Disturbed sites adjacent to areas where cultivated; 0--500 m; Ark., Calif., Kans., La., Mont., Oreg., Tex., Wash.; cultivated in Europe, Asia.

The onion of commerce, Allium cepa is widely cultivated as a biennial in North America, Europe, and Asia. It is unknown in the wild and is probably derived from A. oschanini of central Asia. The cultivated form is often polyploid (2n = 16, 32, 54) and possibly of hybrid origin. It exists in numerous cultivars, a few of which form large bulbils in the umbel.

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Number of matches : 9
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Allium cepa%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Plant") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
Garden Onion
ID: 0000 0000 1005 1011 [detail]
© 2005 Luigi Rignanese

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
Garden Onion
ID: 0000 0000 1005 1013 [detail]
© 2005 Luigi Rignanese

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 1105 0352 [detail]
© 2005 Luigi Rignanese

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 1105 0355 [detail]
© 2005 Luigi Rignanese

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 0816 1090 [detail]
© 2016 Zoya Akulova

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 0816 1092 [detail]
© 2016 Zoya Akulova

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 0818 1293 [detail]
© 2018 Zoya Akulova

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 0818 1294 [detail]
© 2018 Zoya Akulova

Allium cepa
Allium cepa
ID: 0000 0000 0919 0107 [detail]
© 2019 Zoya Akulova

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