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Botanical Name : Allium textile
Species: A. textile
*Allium angulosum Pursh 1813, illegitimate homonym not L. 1753
*Allium aridum Rydb.
*Allium geyeri var. textile (A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.) B. Boivin
*Allium reticulatum Fraser ex G. Don 1827, illegitimate homonym , not J. Presl & C. Presl 1817
*Allium reticulatum var. playanum M.E. Jones
*Maligia laxa Raf.
Common Name: Prairie onion or Textile onion
Habitat : Allium textile is native to North America – Saskatchewan to South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona. It grows on dry prairies, calcareous rocks and open woods.
Allium textile produces egg-shaped bulbs up to 2.5 cm long. There are no rhizomes. Scapes are round in cross-section, up to 40 cm tall. Flowers are bell-shaped or urn-shaped, about 6 mm in diameter; tepals white or pink with reddish-brown midribs; pollen and anthers yellow. It is in flower from May 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 dry or moist soil.
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants require a period of summer rest at which time they should be kept dry or they are likely to rot, they are therefore more easily grown in a bulb frame or cold greenhouse. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Closely related to A. stellatum. 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.
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. Fairly large, the bulb is up to 2cm in diameter. It is used as an onion substitute in stews etc. The bulb can be eaten fresh or can be stored for later use. 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:….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.