CPC Plant Profile: Goodding's Onion
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Plant Profile

Goodding's Onion (Allium gooddingii)

An ungrazed plant in flower. Photo Credit: Janette Milne
Description
  • Global Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Liliaceae
  • State: AZ, NM, NN
  • Nature Serve ID: 150468
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 06/18/1986

Goodding's onion is a delicate perennial with reddish-purple flowers and a pungent onion aroma. It appears after snow melt and blooms from late May to mid-June. It is often hard to locate and identify plants due to heavy grazing by domestic and wild ungulates that reduce the aboveground parts of the plants to short stubs and may not even leave that much. For this reason its population numbers are hard to quantify when the habitat is not protected. Luckily for this species, it was listed as a candidate for federal endangered/threatened status. The need for protection of this species was recognized in 1998 when a conservation agreement between the Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency was put in place in order to reduce or eliminate threats to it. Two years later, this protection paid off, when Allium gooddingii was removed from the list for candidate status. (USFWS 2000)

Participating Institutions
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Updates
Sheila Murray
  • 11/10/2021
  • Seed Collection

Allium gooddingii is a species of wild onion found in high-elevation forests in Arizona and New Mexico. This species may have a difficult time responding to any severe wildfires that burn through the habitat. It prefers deep shade, and any catastrophic wildfire ultimately removes that shade. To help preserve this species, The Arboretum at Flagstaff has partnered with CPC and the U.S. Forest Service to make seed collections of multiple populations. These seed collections will be held long-term, and can be a valuable resource for any future work with the species. In 2021 we collected from three populations in Arizona, and we also have helped facilitate long-term storage of seed from seven more populations collected by the USFS and the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico.

  • 08/26/2020
  • Seed Collection

Cultivation requirements are known and seed is in long-term storage. New Mexico populations need to be collected.

  • 08/26/2020
  • Living Collection

Plants have been cultivated at the Arboretum of Flagstaff. (Arizona Game and Fish Department 1999)

  • 08/16/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Cultivation requirements are known and seed is in long-term storage. New Mexico populations need to be collected.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Formerly thought to be rare, numerous populations have recently been found in Arizona and in Navajo Nation. While it is threatened by collecting, grazing, and logging, it is known to return following disturbance.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

As stated by USFWS (2000), threats include: Timber harvesting Livestock grazing Road construction Recreation

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Populations are known from Santa Catalina (Pima County) and White Mountains (Apache County) of Arizona and the Mogollan Mountains (Grant and Catron Counties) and Sierra Blanca Peak (Otero County) (USFWS 2000).

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Plants have been cultivated at the Arboretum of Flagstaff. (Arizona Game and Fish Department 1999)

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Goodding's onion is still monitored periodically on U.S. Forest Service and Navajo Nation lands. A 1998 conservation agreement between the FS and the EPA includes plans to reduce or eliminate threats to the onion by maintaining the canopy cover and avoiding ground disturbance and erosion during timber harvesting activities in and near occupied sites, prohibiting new livestock structures that would attract grazing ungulates to occupied sites, and prohibiting or redesigning new roads and trails found to adversely affect this species of onion. (USFWS 2000)

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Most populations are not considered to be threatened, but continued monitoring is advised.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Cultivation requirements are known and seed is in long-term storage. New Mexico populations need to be collected.

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Nomenclature
Taxon Allium gooddingii
Authority Ownbey
Family Liliaceae
CPC Number 76
ITIS 42675
USDA ALGO
Common Names Goodding's onion | Gooding's onion
Associated Scientific Names Allium gooddingii
Distribution Apache-Sitgreaves, Coronado, Lincoln, and Gila National Forests of New Mexico (USFWS 2000).
State Rank
State State Rank
Arizona S3S4
New Mexico S2
Navajo Nation 3
Habitat

Typically found in mature forests, along north-trending drainage bottoms associated with perennial, intermittent and ephemeral stream courses in mixed-conifer and spruce-fir zones at elevations ranging from 7,000-9,400 ft. elevation (USFWS 2000).

Ecological Relationships

Best plant reproduction and growth occurs where it is protected from domestic and wild ungulate grazing. Observations of plants under cultivation at the Arboretum at Flagstaff indicate that this species may be apomictic (self-fertile). (Arizona Game and Fish Department 1999) Reproduction is through seed and vegetatively from bulbils, as most onion species do (Arizona Game and Fish Department 1999). Pollinators include hymenopterans, dipterans, and lepidopterans (Arizona Game and Fish Department 1999). Seeds readily germinate (Spellenberg 1982, Fletcher 1984)

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Flies
Diptera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Other
Hymenoptera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Lepidoptera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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