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Botanical Name : Allium stipitatum
Species: A. stipitatum
*Allium hirtifolium Boissier
*Allium atropurpureum var. hirtulum Regel
Common Name : Persian shallot
Habitat : Allium stipitatum is native to central and southwestern Asia. It grows on hot dry situations on lower mountain slopes.
Allium stipitatum grows from bulbs, 3 to 6 cm in diameter, which have blackish, paper-like tunics. The 4–6 basal leaves are broad, green to greyish green in colour, and variably hairy. The leaves are normally withered by the time the bulb flowers. Flowers are borne on stems which are 60 to 150 cm tall and are arranged in an umbel (a structure where the individual flowers are attached to a central point). The umbels are some 8 to 12 cm in diameter, relatively small compared to the tall stems, hence the description ‘drumstick allium’. Individual flowers, of which there are many, are a typical allium shape, with a superior ovary and six tepals of a lilac to purple colour, around 2.5 to 5 cm long; white forms are known.
Plants grow on rocky slopes and in fields at elevations between 1,500 and 2,500 m. It is a typical ‘drumstick allium’, with a more-or-less spherical umbel on a tall stipe, and as such has often been confused with other similar species.
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 dry or moist soil.
Prefers a hot sunny position in a light well-drained soil, growing well in the light shade of thinly clad shrubs that also thrive in hot dry conditions. The bulbs tend to rot when grown in cool wet climates, even if they are given sharp drainage. One report says that this species is only hardy to zone 8, which only covers the mildest areas of Britain, whilst another says that it is much hardier and will succeed in zone 4. It is being grown successfully about 60 kilometres west of London, and so should be hardy at least in the south of Britain. 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. Sold as an item of food in central Russia. The bulbs are 3 – 6cm 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. It has ornamental use also..
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: 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.