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Synonyms : A. latifolium.
Allium akaka (Onion). This species of bulbous perennial, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).It produces wide grey-green leaves that are oblong to elliptic. The flowers are produced in umbels of star-shaped flowers in either punk-purple, purple or off-white, which are borne in the spring.It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. The bulbs are almost spherical.
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained dry to moist soil. Bulbs are not hardy in all parts of Britain, they probably tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c but because of their need for a very well-drained dry to moist soil are probably best grown in a bulb frame. The plants need a dry period in late summer when they are dormant in order to fully ripen the bulb. 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. This species is a cultivated crop in Iran, where it is sold in the bazaars of Teheran. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
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 Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. Used as an onion substitute. The whole of the young plant is said to be a great delicacy and is used as an addition to rice in a pilau. The bulb is 15 – 30mm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
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.
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