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Botanical Name: Allium macleanii
Species: A. macleanii
Synonyms: A. elatum. Regel.
Common Names: Wild Onion
Habitat : Allium macleanii is native to W. Asia – Afghanistan. It is found at high elevations in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Tajikistan, and northern India. It grows in gentle slopes at low altitudes to 1200 metres.
Allium macleanii is a perennial herb up to 100 cm tall, with a spherical umbel up to 7 cm in diameter. The umbel is crowded with many purple flowers. It is in flower from Jun to July.
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.
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1, 90, 203]. Dislikes dry soils. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors in the milder areas of the country and probably tolerating temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. This species is closely related to A. giganteum. 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.
Bulb – raw or cooked. An onion substitute, it can be sliced and added to salads, cooked as a vegetable, or added as a flavouring to cooked foods. The bulbs are 2 – 6 cm in diameter. 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: 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.