(Please view large!) I photographed this bee with its proboscis thrust deep into a wild onion flower at Prisk Native Garden, a small garden devoted to the richness of California native flora (May 2014, Long Beach, California). (Olympus E-5 & Zuiko 50mm macro, f/6.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 200, afternoon sun, handheld)
Wild onions are of the Allium genus (part of the Amaryllidaceae family, previously classified in the Liliaceae family), but we have so many native alliums in California (75 according to the Calflora database of native plants) that I am unable to provide an exact botanical name for the flowers in this photograph. In general, the California native alliums are perennial herbs (bulbs) that bloom anytime from late winter through spring. The bulbs and flowers were consumed by Native Americans and are still eaten by many people today who appreciate wild foods, although the alliums are listed by the California Poison Control System as having minor toxicity.
Featured in RedBubble Explore, 7 Day Popular Art, Design & Photography (May 2014)
Top 10 in “Wildflowers in the Pink” challenge in Wildflowers of North America group (June 2015)
Winner of “Wildflowers in the Sun” challenge in Wildflowers of the World group (August 2014)
Top 10 in “Your Favorite wildflower" challenge in Wildflowers of North America group (June 2014)
Top 10 in “Bugs/Animals on Spring Fruit Tree/Vegetable Blooms” challenge in Bugs and Animals on Flowers/Foliage in Macro group (May 2014)