Allium – Onion
There are about 700 species of bulbous perennials and biennials, in this genus. Native to temperate regions in the northern Hemisphere and Western and Central Asia. A single bulb produces clusters of off sets bulbs around it, which gradually forms clumps and range in height from 4” to 5’ feet tall. They bear bell, star, cup, and spherical, sometimes hemispherical or ovoid occasionally pendent ½-12” wide flower heads. The linear to strap shaped basal or stem-clasping leaves when bruised or cut excrete onion smell. They bloom in spring and autumn and some species are edible and have culinary uses. Contact with bulb may irritate skin.
They prefer to grow in open sunny position in fertile well-drained, weed free soil.
Prone to onion fly, stem eelworm, rust, onion white rot, bulb rots, White rot, mildew, smut and various fungal leaf spots thrips.
Allium christophii – Allium cristophii – Allium albopilosum – Stars of Persia – This bulbous perennial grows 24” tall and derives from Turkey and Central Asia. The strap shaped broad green leaves are 6-16” long, glossy with stiff hairs on the edges with white undersides. The flowering stems bear rounded umbels up to 15” across in spring of up to 100 star shaped individual violet flowers that turn black as seeds ripen. Flowers can be dried for floral arrangements.