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Botanical Name : Allium brevistylum
Species: A. brevistylum
Common Name : Shortstyle Onion
Habitat :Allium brevistylum is native to the western United States – Rocky Mountains from Montana and Idaho to Utah and Colorado.
It grows on the swampy meadows and stream sides at medium to high elevations.
General: perennial herb with an onion- or garlic-like odor,
flowering stem 20-60 cm tall, flattened and narrowly winged
toward the top. Bulbs elongate, mostly less than 1 cm
thick, at the end of a thick rhizome.
Leaves: 2 to several basal, plane, blunt-tipped, entire,
2-8 mm broad, much shorter than the stem, green at
flowering time, persistent at maturity.
Flowers: 7 to 15 in a flat-topped umbel-cluster, stalks
slender, about as long as the flowers at flowering time,
becoming longer, stout and curved in fruit. Tepals 6, 10-13
mm long, lanceolate, pointed, entire, pink, withering in fruit,
the midribs somewhat thickened. Bracts 2, united at base
and often along one side, ovate, pointed, 3- to 5-nerved.
Stamens about half the length of the tepals, the anthers
short-oblong, blunt, yellowish. Ovary crestless, the style
awl-shaped, rarely more than 3 mm long, stigma 3-cleft.
Flowering time: June-August.
Fruits: capsules broader than long, the valves heart-
shaped, distinctly notched. Seeds correspondingly short
and thick, dull black.
Bulb of Allium brevistylum is growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species tolerates much wetter soils than most members of the genus but it dislikes winters with alternating periods of damp and cold and no snow cover, so it is best given a damp though well-drained soil. It requires plenty of moisture in the growing season. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Plants can be confused with A. validum. 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.
The Bulb and leaves of short-styled onion are edible, raw or cooked. The plant has thick iris-like rhizomes. Indians used wild onions extensively. Their bulbs served as a staple and condiment to many different tribes. The crisp bulbs were gathered by Indians from Spring through early Fall. They were eaten raw and used as an ingredient in soups, stews and meat dishes. The bulbs also stored well for winter use The flowers can also be eaten raw, and used as a garnish on salads.
A few Indian tribes would crush the wild onion and apply it to bee and insect bites to reduce swelling and pain. Others used it to draw poison out of snakebites. A heavy syrup made from the juice of the wild onion was also used for coughs and other cold symptoms. A poultice of the ground root and stems, or an infusion of them, was used as a wash for carbuncles by the Cheyenne Indians. Onions in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavor) 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 has been 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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