The flowers are clustered in umbel-like heads at the tops of tall, leafless flower stalks. The individual flowers are 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and have 6 petal-like segments. The leaves are green, narrowly linear, and grasslike. The crushed leaves smell like onions. The plants reproduce both by their swollen, onion-like, underground corms (bulbs) and by seed.
Cultural Significance: Large quantities of corms were gathered with digging sticks in over half of California, parts of the Great Basin and Southwest. These corms formed an important starch source in the diet of native people. California Indians dug and continue to dig the corms before flowering, during flowering, or after seeding depending upon the tribe and individual family. Traditional gathering sites were visited annually, over long periods of time and there are references to gathering tracts of different kinds of corms and bulbs specifically owned and maintained by particular families.
Santa Catalina Mountains
Location: Prison Camp.
Notes: Sabino Canyon beside Tram Road 3/4/17