Allium altaicum

 

Botanical Name : Allium altaicum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species:A. altaicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Altai onion

Habitat :Allium altaicum is native to Asiatic Russia (Altay, Buryatiya, Zabaykalsky Krai, Irkutsk, Tuva, Amur Oblast), Mongolia, Kazakhstan and northern China (Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang). It grows on the rocky areas. Slopes and plains in N. China.

Description:
Allium altaicum is a perennial grass like plant of the onion family. It typically forms a basal clump to 12-15” tall of narrow, glaucous, grass-like, linear leaves with entire margins and parallel venation. Bell-shaped, yellowish-white flowers in spherical umbels bloom in mid to late summer atop naked rounded hollow scapes rising above the foliage to 24-28” tall. Edible parts of this allium are the onion-flavored young spring leaves, summer flowers and underground bulbs.

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It produces narrowly egg-shaped bulbs up to 4 cm in diameter. Scape is round in cross-section, up to 100 cm tall. Leaves are round, up to 50 cm long. Flowers are pale yellow, up to 20 mm across. Ovary is egg-shaped; stamens longer than the tepals.

It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Succeeds in moist and acid soils. This species is probably an ancestor of the Welsh onion, A. fistulosum and as such is a potential genetic resource. Bees are very fond of the flowers of this plant. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. 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. 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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

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Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are formed in clusters on a rhizome and are up to 4cm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: ….Repellent….The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are formed in clusters on a rhizome and are up to 4cm wide.  Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: Repellent…The growing 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 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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=281841&ispro
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_altaicum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+altaicum

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