Allium munzii - (Ownbey & Aase ex Traub) McNeal
Munz's Onion
Synonym(s): Allium fimbriatum var. munzii Ownbey & Aase ex Traub
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Allium munzii (Ownbey & Aase) McNeal (TSN 506825)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144778
Element Code: PMLIL022Z0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Lily Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Liliales Liliaceae Allium
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Allium munzii
Taxonomic Comments: Several former vars. of Allium fimbriatum of, for example, Kartesz 1994 checklist now (1999 Kartesz Floristic Synthesis) treated as distinct species: A. abramsii, A. denticulatum, A. diabolense, A. munzii, A. purdyi, and A. sharsmithiae; the remaining vars. will be A. fimbriatum var. fimbriatum, var. mohavense, and var. purdyi.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 26May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 08Mar1988
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Allium munzii is narrowly endemic to western Riverside County in southern California. Munz's onion is known from fifteen extant populations. It is extremely threatened by rapid and extensive urbanization, dry land farming activities, competition from non-native plants throughout its entire range, and off-road vehicle activities throughout a significant portion of its range. Other threats include, clay mining and grazing (CNPS 2001).
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (13Oct1998)
Comments on USESA: Allium munzii was proposed endangered on December 15, 1994 and determined endangered on October 13, 1998.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R8 - California-Nevada

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Only known from the Gavilan Plateau and Temescal Valley regions in western Riverside County, California on clay soils (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from twenty populations with four being historic and one extirpated.

Population Size Comments: In response to rainfall and other factors, perennial bulbs may not produce aerial leaves or flowers in a given year or may produce only leaves. As a result, fluctuations in numbers of observed individuals may be misleading.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The foreseeable threat with the greatest impact is habitat degradation/loss. Allium munzii is extremely threatened by rapid and extensive urbanization in southern California. A housing development impacted a portion of a nearby occurrence, a freeway interchange greatly reduced another occurrence, and roads have bisected or reduced the population numbers of several occurrences (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004). Further, off-road vehicles and utility work continue to be threats. Clay mining is another great threat that has and continues to threaten populations of A. munzii, including one of the largest occurrences (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004). Crowding and competition for resources from two non-native grasses, Avena barbata and Bromus madritensis, threaten the majority of the populations (Fish and Wildlife Service 1998). Grazing, repeated cycles of fire and soil nitrification has allowed these non native grasses to invade making it difficult for A. munzii plants to penetrate the dense mats created by the grasses. The native habitats (native grasses, open sage scrub and chaparral) are patchy and easier for the rare species to emerge and penetrate through (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-70%
Short-term Trend Comments: Allium munzii has recently been extirpated from at least one sites as a result of urbanization, agricultural development, clay mining, and highway construction. Additional sites may have been lost since they were last surveyed. An estimated 90 percent of the potential habitat for this plant has been eliminated by development projects and clay mining (Winter 1992 cited by Stephenson and Calcaraone 1999, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004). Further, populations continue to be threatened by housing and business development, dry land farming activities, off-road vehicles, clay mining and non native plants (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Allium munzii takes three to five years from germination to come to maturity. In addition, its emergence and flowering are directly related to favorable rainfall. It also occurs in populations usually less than 1,000 plants (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Known from a small region in Riverside Co. California on mesic clay soils (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Only known from the Gavilan Plateau and Temescal Valley regions in western Riverside County, California on clay soils (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Riverside (06065)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 San Jacinto (18070202)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Aliso-San Onofre (18070301)+, Santa Margarita (18070302)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with a flowering stem, 1.5-3.5 dm tall, and a single, cylindrical, hollow leaf, about 1.5 times as long as the stem, arising from an underground bulb. The terminal flower cluster is composed of 10-36 white flowers that become reddish with age.
Technical Description: Bulb 10-15 mm, ovoid; outer coast red-brown, sculpture 0 or 2-3 rows of vertical cells above root pad; inner coats pale brown, white, or pink. Stem 15-35 cm. Leaf +/- 1.5 x stem, cylindric. Inflorescence: flowers 10-36; pedicels 7-12 mm. Flowers 6-8 mm; perianth parts erect, ovate, entire, white, red in fruit, midveins sometimes pink or green; ovary crests 6, prominent, finely and irregularly dentate. n=7. (Hickman, 1993).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Perianth 6-9 mm, white to pink, becoming darker. Infl compact, pedicels straight; perianth parts elliptic to ovate, obtuse to acute. This species can be distinguished from other similar alliums in its range by its single hollow, terete leaf; the shape of the perianth segments, flower color and irregularly dentate crest of the ovary (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Three to five years are needed after seeds germinate before the plant reaches sexual maturity and produces flowers. The plant is dormant for most of the year except for the spring and early summer. This species flowers from March to May. Finally, this species responds to the varied amounts of rainfall from year to year which affect its emergence. In years with little rainfall few plants flower, and in years with good rainfall most plants bloom (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Grassy openings in coastal-sage scrub. Soils are moist, heavy clays.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26May2016
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Bittman, R.L., rev. Maybury (1997), rev. Gries (1998), rev. L. Oliver (2003), rev. A. Olivero (2003), rev. L. Oliver (2009), rev. Bittman and Treher (2016)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Oct1993
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): ANNABLE, C.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2001. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of California (sixth edition). Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee, David P. Tibor, Convening Editor. California Native Plant Society. Sacramento, CA. x + 388pp.

  • Fiedler, P.L. 1996. Rare Lilies of California. California Native Plant Society Press, Sacramento, California. 154 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1991. Accepted taxonomic names from November 1991 checklist, as extracted by Ken Wright, The Nature Conservancy, December 1992-January 1993.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Smith, J.P., and K. Berg. 1988. California native plant society's inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 4th edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 168 pp.

  • Stephenson, J. R., and G. M. Calcarone. 1999. Southern California mountains and foothills assessment: habitat and species conservation issues. General Technical Report GTR-PSW-175. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 402 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; proposed designation of critical habitat for Allium munzii (Munz's onion). Federal Register 69 (108): 31569-31572.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Proposed rule to list four southwestern California plants as endangered or threatened. Federal Register 59(240): 64812-64823.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: determination of endangered or threatened status for four southwestern California plants from vernal wetlands and clay soils. Federal Register 63(197):54975-54994.

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