Allium scorodoprasum

Botanical Name : Allium scorodoprasum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. scorodoprasum
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name : Rocambole,Sand leek

Habitat : Allium scorodoprasum is native to  Most of Europe, including Britain, east and south to W. Asia and Syria.It grows on the grassland and scrub on dry soils.

Description;

Allium scorodoprasum is a perennial plant with an egg-shaped bulb. The plant produces two to five unstalked leaves, the bases of which are sheath-like. Each leaf blade is linear, 7-20 mm wide,   flat with a slight keel, an entire margin and parallel veins. The edges of the leaf and the central vein are rough to the touch. It is in flower from May to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. The flowering stem is cylindrical, growing to a height of 30 to 90 cm (12 to 35 in) and the upper half is leafless. The whole plant has an onion-like aroma. The inflorescence is a globular cluster surrounded by membranous bracts in bud which wither when the flowers open. Each individual flower is stalked and has a purple perianth 4 to 7 mm (0.16 to 0.28 in) long. There are six tepals, six stamens and a pistil formed from three fused carpels. Mixed with the flowers are a number of purple bulbils. The fruit is a capsule, but the seeds seldom set, and propagation usually takes place when the bulbils are knocked off and grow into new plants.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Thrives in poor dry soils. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Many forms of this species produce numerous bulbils in the flowering head.  The plants can become very invasive by means of these bulbils. The sub-species A. scorodoprasum jajlae and A. scorodoprasum rotundum do not produce bulbils. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Occasionally cultivated, especially in Russia, for its edible bulb. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A garlic substitute, it is used as a flavouring in salads, soups etc. The bulbs are smaller than garlic and have a milder flavour, they are produced at the points of the stem as well as at the base. The bulbs are 10 – 20mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads etc. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses :

Depurative;  Digestive.

The plant is digestive and depurative. The bulb is used in the treatment of abscesses, amoebic dysentery, bronchitis, cholera, dysentery, influenza, skin diseases and TB.

Other Uses
Repellent.
The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Known Hazards :  Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+scorodoprasum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_scorodoprasum
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Allium_scorodoprasum.jpg

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