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Allium Genus

Onion

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General Needs

  • LightFull sun
  • HardinessFrost hardy (min -5°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Fertile
  • Soil pH6.0 to 8.0
  • WaterDry

Description

Allium genus (Onion). This genus consists of perennials, some of which are edible with bulbs, rhizomes or fibrous rootstocks. They will nearly all have basal leaves which smell of onions when crushed. Most of them have small flowers which are packed together in a dense spherical or shuttlecock shaped umbel.

Characteristics

Perennials, Bulbs, Fragrants

Origin

Mountainous areas of Northern hemisphere.

Linnaeus first described the genus Allium (the Latin word for garlic) in 1753.

Interest and use

Grown for bulbs (which can be edible) and flowers, and foliage which can be decorative and/or edible, depending on the species. Dried umbels of tall border species are used for winter decoration. Suitable for coastal conditions.

Cultivation

They are fully to frost hardy, and will require an open, sunny situation with well drained soil. If left undisturbed a clump can be formed. Plant at a depth of approximately 12cm.

Propagation

Propagation is by offsets, by seed in autumn or by division of clumps (spring flowering varieties in late summer and summer flowering varieties in spring).

Pests, diseases or disorders

Prone to white rot, downy mildew, eelworm, rust and onion fly.

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