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Botanical Name: Allium stellatum
Species: A. stellatum
*Stelmesus stellatus (Nutt. ex Ker Gawl.) Raf.
*Hexonychia stellatum (Nutt. ex Ker Gawl.) Salisb.
Common Names: Autumn onion, Prairie onion
Habitat : Allium stellatum is native to central Canada and the central United States from Ontario and Saskatchewan south to Tennessee and Texas. It grows on rocky prairies, slopes, shores and ridges. Usually found on limestone soils.
Allium stellatum is a perennial forming a bulb. The scape is up to 1–2 feet (30–60 cm) tall with tufts of leaves, which are thick, hard, and rounded on the back. The leaves die back as the umbel of pink to purple flowers forms in early August.
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It is not frost tender. 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.
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden. An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich moist but well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. There is at least one named variety – ‘Album’ has white flowers. 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. Closely allied to A. cernuum and to A. textile. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: North American native, Suitable for cut flowers.
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. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb is strongly flavored but edible, eaten raw or cooked. The bulbs are eaten by the N. American Indians. They are rather small, about 4cm tall and 15mm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
A sweetened decoction of the root has been taken, mainly by children, as a remedy for colds. Although no other 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:.…Repellent…..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.