name = "Allium"

image_width = 250px
image_caption = Allium species from Russia
regnum = Plantae
phylum = Magnoliophyta
classis = Liliopsida
ordo = Asparagales
familia = Alliaceae
genus = "Allium"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = Some important species:
"Allium acuminatum" - tapertip onion
"Allium ampeloprasum" - (Broadleaf) wild leek
:"A. a." var. "ampeloprasum" - elephant garlic
:"A. a." var. "kurrat" - kurrat
:"A. a." var. "porrum" - leek
"Allium anceps" - twinleaf onion
"Allium angulosum" - mouse garlic
"Allium aflatunense" - purple sensation
"Allium atrorubens" - dark red onion
"Allium caeruleum" - blue globe onion
"Allium campanulatum" - dusky onion
"Allium canadense" - Canadian garlic
"Allium cepa" - garden onion
"Allium cernuum" - nodding onion
"Allium chinense"
"Allium fistulosum" - Welsh onion
"Allium giganteum" - giant onion
"Allium neapolitanum" - white garlic
"Allium nevii" - Nevius' garlic
"Allium nigrum" - black garlic
"Allium oleraceum" - field garlic
"Allium oschaninii" - shallot
"Allium ramosum" - wild Chinese chives
"Allium sativum" - cultivated garlic
"Allium schoenoprasum" - chives
"Allium scorodoprasum" - Sand leek
"Allium textile" - prairie onion
"Allium tricoccum" - wild leek, ramp
"Allium triquetrum" - three-cornered leek, triquetous garlic
"Allium tuberosum" - Chinese chives
"Allium ursinum" - wild garlic, ramsons
"Allium vineale" - crow garlic, wild onion
See full list.

"Allium" is the onion genus, with about 1250 species, making it one of the largest plant genera in the world. They are perennial bulbous plants that produce chemical compounds (mostly cystein sulfoxide) that give them a characteristic onion or garlic taste and odor, and many are used as food plants. "Allium" is classified in family Alliaceae although some classifications have included it in the lily family (Liliaceae).

"Allium" species occur in temperate climates of the northern hemisphere, except for a few species occurring in Chile (as "Allium juncifolium"), Brazil ("Allium sellovianum") or tropical Africa ("Allium spathaceum"). They can vary in height between 5 cm and 150 cm. The flowers form an umbel at the top of a leafless stalk. The bulbs vary in size between species, from very small (around 2–3 mm in diameter) to rather big (8–10 cm). Some species (such as Welsh onion, "A. fistulosum") develop thickened leaf-bases rather than forming bulbs as such.

Most bulbous alliums increase by forming little bulbs or "offsets" around the old one, as well as by seed. Several species can form many bulbils (tiny bulbs) in the flowerhead; in the so-called "tree onion" ("A. cepa" Proliferum Group) the bulbils are few, but large enough to be used for pickling.

Members of the genus include many valued vegetables such as onions, shallots, leeks and herbs such as garlic and chives. A strong "oniony" odor is characteristic of the whole genus, but not all members are equally flavorful.

Some "Allium" species, including "A. cristophii" and "A. giganteum", are used as border plants for their flowers, and their "architectural" qualities. Several hybrids have been bred, or selected, with rich purple flowers. "Allium hollandicum" 'Purple Sensation' is one of the most popular and has been given an Award of Garden Merit (H4). By contrast, other species (such as the invasive "Allium triquetrum") can become troublesome garden weeds.

Various "Allium" species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera including Cabbage Moth, Common Swift moth (recorded on garlic), Garden Dart moth, Large Yellow Underwing moth, Nutmeg moth, Setaceous Hebrew Character moth, Turnip Moth and "Schinia rosea", a moth which feeds exclusively on "Allium sp".

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Allium — Allium …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Allĭum — (A. L., Lauch), Pflanzengatt aus der Fam. der Liliaceae Asphodeleae Hyacintheae, zur 6. Klasse 1. Ordnung L., mit sechstheiliger einfacher, meist weißer od. lilafarbiger Blüthenhülle, 6 Staubgefäßen u. dreifächeriger, vielsamiger Kapsel. Man… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Allium — es el género de las cebollas, ajos, puerros y cebolletas. El aroma es característico de todo el género pero no todos los miembros poseen ese sabor fuerte. Existen alrededor de 1.250 especies en este género, la mayoría clasificadas en la familia… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • allium — [al′ē əm] n. [ModL < L, garlic] any strong smelling bulb plant of a genus (Allium) of the lily family, as the onion, garlic, leek, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Allium — Al li*um, n. [L., garlic.] (bot.) A genus of plants, including the onion, garlic, leek, chive, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Allĭum — L. (Lauch), Gattung der Liliazeen, zweijährige oder ausdauernde Gewächse mit einer Zwiebel oder mehreren am kurzen, kriechenden Rhizom, schmalen, linealischen oder stielrunden und dann bisweilen hohlen, seltener breitern, grundständigen Blättern …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Allium — Allĭum, Lauch, Pflanzengattg. Der Liliazeen, eigentümlich riechende Zwiebelgewächse. Viele sind Küchengewürze, so A. satīvum L. (s. Knoblauch), A. Cepa L. (s. Zwiebel), A. fistulōsum L. (Winterlauch oder Jakobslauch), A. Porrum L. (s. Porree), A …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Allium — Allium, s. Lauch …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Allium — Allium …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Allium — Lauch Bärlauch (Allium ursinum) zur Blütezeit Systematik Klasse: Einkeimblättrige (Liliopsida) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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