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Botanical Name: Allium geyeri
Species: A. geyeri
*Allium dictyotum Greene
*Allium funiculosum A.Nelson
*Allium pikeanum Rydb.
*Allium fibrosum Rydb. 1897, illegitimate homonym not Regel 1887
*Allium arenicola Osterh. 1900, illegitimate homonym not Small 1900
*Allium rubrum Osterh.
*Allium sabulicola Osterh.
*Allium rydbergii J.F.Macbr.
Common Names: Geyer’s Onion, Bulbil onion
Habitat :Allium geyeri is native to Western N. America – Washington, Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada. It grows on low meadows and by streams in the Rocky Mountains.
Allium geyeri is a bulb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).Leaves are up to 2 feet long, thin, grass like – 3 to 5 leaves per stem. The plant produces a thick green stalk, which bears a few leaves only at the base, and terminates in a compact, spherical cluster of between 10 and 25 pale pink, urn-shaped flowers; these have six pointed tepals (pink to white in color), curved at the base and pointed at the tip, enclosing a style and several stamens topped by yellow anthers. Two or three thin papery bracts are found at the base of the umbel, but these wither away during flowering.It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May. Colour of the flower is mainly pink.
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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. Plants are not hardy in the colder wetter conditions of N.W. Britain and are probably best grown in a bulb frame in most parts of the country. The sub-species A. geyeri tenerum forms bulbils in its flowering head. 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 greenhouse. The seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe 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 of the plants in summer as they die down. The divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions if required.
Bulb – raw or cooked. Used mainly as an onion-flavouring in soups etc, though they were also occasionally eaten raw. The bulbs are eaten by the Navajo Indians. The bulbs are up to 25mm long and 20mm 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.
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.