Herbs & Plants

Allium paradoxum

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

*Scilla paradoxa M.Bieb.
*Allium paradoxum var. normale Stearn

Common Names: Few-flowered garlic, Few-flowered leek

Habitat : Allium paradoxum is native to W. Asia – Iran. Naturalized in a number of places in Britain. It grows on hedge banks and waste places on damp soils.

Allium paradoxum is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a small solitary bulb to about 20–40 cm in height. It has much narrower leaves, from 5 to 25 mm wide, than Allium ursinum but a similar ‘garlicky’ smell. It is in leaf 6-Nov It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in June. The flower stem is triangular in section. Most of the flowers are replaced by little bulbs or bulbils and the few (usually only one) proper flowers are white.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil. Plants grow well in a heavy wet clay soil in north-west England, where they are self-sowing. Plants are shade tolerant, they are easily grown in a cool leafy soil[90] and grow well in light moist woodland. Plants are not very hardy outside the milder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. There are two forms of this species. The sub-species A. paradoxum paradoxum produces mainly bulbils instead of flowers, this form is naturalized in Britain and can spread quite invasively. The sub-species A. paradoxum normale does not form bulbils. It produces a large umbel of flowers in the spring and is very ornamental at this time. It is not invasive. The seeds have an oil-bearing appendage which is attractive to ants. The ants carry the seed away to eat the oil and then discard the seed, thus aiding dispersal of the plant. 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. The picked flowers can remain fresh for several weeks. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. 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. Bulbils, harvested in mid to late spring, can either be planted immediately or be stored and then planted in late summer. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the bulbs divide fairly freely and can be dug up then replanted direct into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses:
Bulb – eaten raw or cooked. The rather small bulb is up to 10mm in diameter[200], it has a mild garlic flavour and can be used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. It is harvested in early summer when the plant has died down and will store for at least 6 months. Leaves – raw or cooked. A leek substitute. The leaves are available from late autumn until the spring, they are nice in salads when they are young, or cooked as a vegetable or flavouring as they get older. The leaves have a milder and more delicate flavour than onions. Flowers – raw. Juicy with a mild garlic flavour, they make a tasty and decorative garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:

Anticholesterolemic; Digestive; Tonic.

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 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.


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