Calflora
Taxon  Report   5400    
Melica spectabilis  Scribn.
Purple onion grass,  Purple oniongrass
Melica spectabilis
© 2011 Steve Matson
Photos from
CalPhotos / Calflora
Melica spectabilis, a monocot, is a perennial grass (rhizomatous) that is native to California, is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America.
CNPS Rare Plant Rank: 4.3 (limited distribution).   8th Edition

Interactive Distribution Map


Observation Hotline
(observation details + photos)



point, line, or polygon

one or more occurrences
within a 7.5-minute quadrangle

Plant Characteristics
and Associations



Bloom Period
Melica spectabilis
© 2009 Trent M. Draper
Family: POACEAE  
Genus: Melica
Communities: Red Fir Forest, Yellow Pine Forest, wetland-riparian

Wetlands: Equally likely to occur in wetlands and non wetlands

Habitat: meadows

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + CNPS + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
PLANTS: Bromelica spectabilis
PLANTS: Melica bulbosa var. spectabilis
More information about  Melica spectabilis
Nursery / seed vendor availability from CNPLX
Commercial availability unknown.
Landscaping information from Calscape
Photos on PlantID.net   /   Google Images
Jepson eFlora

Records from the Consortium of California Herbaria

ITIS Original Publication citation

USDA PLANTS Profile (MESP)

Search the International Plants Names Index

Search efloras.org (Flora of North America)

website references from Google


Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation,
with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals, including the Consortium of California Herbaria.
[web application]. 2018. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization].
Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: Nov 20, 2018).

The information on this page comes from diverse sources. None of the links are sponsored.