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Botanical Name: Allium subhirsutum
Species: A. subhirsutum
Common Name : Hairy garlic
Allium subhirsutum is a perennial herb up to 50 cm tall. Leaves are long, up to 15 mm across, tapering toward the tip, with hairs along the margins (hence the name “hairy garlic”). The umbel contains only a few flowers, white with thin pink midveins.It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 6-Oct It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Easily grown in a warm sunny position. The plants require a period of summer rest when they are best kept dry but they do succeed in a well-drained sunny position in the open garden. Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil. Closely related to A. neopolitanum and A. trifoliatum, this species comes into new growth in the autumn and flowers in the spring, dying down in the summer. It is a potential winter salad crop but is less hardy than A. neopolitanum so is only suitable for the mildest areas of Britain. The plant is thriving at Kew and so is hardier than the books say. The plants can flower within 12 months of germination, the bulbs are also producing offsets by this time. 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.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year if they have developed sufficiently, otherwise grow on in pots for a further year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the bulbs divide freely and can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb is about 15mm in diameter. It is used like garlic as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. The flavour is somewhat milder with a slight sweetness, and it can be used in much greater quantities than garlic. The bulbs are harvested in mid summer once the plant has died down, and will store for at least 6 months. Leaves – raw or cooked. The leaves have a pleasant texture, they are slightly sweet with a mild garlic flavour and can be available all winter. Flowers – raw. A mild garlic flavour with a delicate sweetness. Used in the spring as a garnish on salads, they are attractive to both the eye and the tongue.
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 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: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.