Herbs & Plants

Allium macrostemon

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

*Allium chanetii H.Lév.
*Allium grayi Regel
*Allium grayi var. chanetii (H. Lév.) H. Lév.
*Allium macrostemon var. uratense (Franch.) Airy Shaw
*Allium nereidum Hance
*Allium nipponicum Franch. & Sav.
*Allium ousensanense Nakai
*Allium iatasen H.Lév.
*Allium pallasii var. uratense (Franch.) Regel
*Allium uratense Franch.

Common Name: No-Binu, English name: Long-stamen chive

Habitat : Allium macrostemon is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on meadows and arable land. Found throughout China on hills, slopes, valleys and plains from near near sea level to 1600 metres (3000 metres in Yunnan)

Allium macrostemon produces one round bulb up to 2 cm in diameter. Scape is up to 70 cm tall. Leaves are shorter than the scape, long and hollow, round or triagonal in cross-section. Umbel is large and crowded with many pale red or pale purple flowers. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August.
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.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. 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 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. The bulb is about 15mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:

Astringent; Carminative; Depurative; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Nervine; Tonic.

The plant is astringent, carminative and diuretic. It is used in the treatment of stuffiness sensation and pain in the chest, angina pectoris, pleurisy, bronchitis, diarrhoea and tenesmus in cases of dysentery. A decoction of the bulb is cooling and depurative. The bulb and leaves, eaten as part of the diet, are emmenagogue, nervine and tonic. Although no other 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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