Herbs & Plants

Allium kunthii

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Botanical Name : Allium kunthii
Family :Alliaceae/ Liliaceae (Lily Family)
Kingdom : Plantae
Class : Liliopsida
Order :Asparagales
Genus :Allium

Synonym(s): Allium scaposum, Schoenoprasum lineare

Common Name : Kunth‘s onion

Habitat : Allium kunthii is native to Southwestern N. America – Texas, New Mexico, Mexico. It grows on dry, rocky hills and mountains, usually in limestone soils at elevations of 700 – 3000 metres.

Allium kunthii is a Perennial bulb growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in). Clustering bulbs, each about ¾ inch in diameter, coated with grayish membrane and producing several long thin green leaves. Umbels of white flowers with pinkish mid-ribs held erect above the leaves in summer It is in flower from Jul to September.


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 moist soil.

Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. 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 – 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:

Bulb – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. The small bulbs are usually less than 2cm in diameter. 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

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 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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