Asphodelus fistulosus L.
onionweed, asphodelus, wild onion
Fruit a 3-segmented capsule, 1 to 2 seeds per segment. Seeds sectoroid, (2.5)2.8–3.5 mm long, 1.5–2.2 mm wide, 1–2 mm thick, triangular to sector-shaped in cross section, with sharp edges. Two flat faces with 2 to 3 or more dents or cavities on each, back side convex with about 4 transverse dents or cavities. Testa dull, light to dark grey and light brown to black. Additionally some seeds may have a faint to distinct black stripe down each flat face. Surface distinctly pebbled. Hilum inconspicuous. Embryo axile-linear, extending from one pole nearly to the other; endosperm readily visible.
Some authors consider Asphodelus fistulosus L. to be a distinct species from Asphodelus tenuifolius Cav., while others consider the two to be synonymous. (This fact sheet considers the two distinct.) Additionally, Asphodelus fistulosus var. tenuifolius (Cav.) Baker has been named a synonym of Asphodelus tenuifolius Cav.
Asphodelus tenuifolius Cav. (non-FNW)
Mediterranean region east through the Arabian peninsula to the Indian subcontinent; also in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, and United States
native to the Mediterranean region
dry, sandy, and rocky places; a weed of pastures, roadsides, waste places
Asphodelus fistulosus is an annual or perennial herb, up to 30 cm tall. Infestation may significantly reduce the carrying capacity of pasture, as it is not eaten by livestock. This species can be controlled by cultivation; it does not grow well on land that is regularly worked. The plant occurs in a few places in the U.S., but no infestations have been reported.