Allium tricoccum is a spring ephemeral, perennial, monocotyledon herb, from an oval-conical bulb, 2-5 cm long, it is colonial, probably from bulb offsets; roots produced in summer when leaves have died back, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988).
Leaves alternate, 1-2, blade broad, flat, 10-20 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, stalk slender, about 10 cm, appearing in early spring, dying by early June after forest canopy closure, leaves last 10 weeks (Hicks and Chabot 1985).
Flower white, radially symmetrical, petals 6, oblong, 0.5-0.7 cm long, each on a short stalk in an umbrella-shaped cluster at the top of the main stem; inflorescence stalk appearing after leaves die back, 15-40 cm tall; blooming June-July.
Fruit dry, hollow, a deeply 3-lobed black capsules each section with one seed. No apparent dispersal mechanism.
Wetland status: FACU+.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Rich woods.
Notes: Rate of migration to distant or disconnected forest sites has been measured as 0.87 m/yr (Matlack 1994). A forest interior herb (Matlack 1994). Requires at least 0.5% full sunlight to survive (compensation point) but cannot use more than 20% full sunlight (saturation point) (Hicks and Chabot 1985).