Various species in Alliums and their bulbs
A.aflatunense- Lilac-purple flowers. Stems 80-150cm, bears numerous starry flowers in round umbels of 10cm width. Leaves 6-8 nos.,2-10 cm diameter, much shorter than stem and withering before flowers mature. Use bulb size 10-12cm.Cultivar- Purple Sensation- deep violet flowers, plant reaches up to 1m in height.
A.cepa-(Onion, Shallot, Tree Onion)-Stems are up to 100cm tall, thick, inflated. Bulb can be up to 10cm wide, spherical, tunic membrane-like. Leaves 4-10, hollow, flattened. Common onion is grown by raising seedlings in a nursery and transplanting them in field. Bulbs can also be transplanted directly in the field. Onion varieties can be broadly classified into 2 groups-common onion and multiplier onion. Common onion can be further grouped into 3 sub-groups based on colour of skin-red, yellow and white. A number of varieties have been developed in India. Some popular varieties released for commercial cultivation are as: Agrifound-DarkRed, Light Red, Red and Rose. Arka-Bindu, Kalyan, Niketan, Pragati, Brown Spanish, CO-1, 2, 3 & 4.Earlygrano, Hisar11, Kalyanpur Red Round, N 53, Madhavi, Punjab Red Round. Punjab selection, Pusa-Madhavi, Ratnar, Red, White Flat, White Round, Udaipur- 101, 102,103.
A. christophii - (syn.A. albopilosum; Also called Star of Persia) - silvery purple. Plant height is 45cm. Leaves are strap-shaped, silky-hairy when young and wither by flowering time. Umbels are15cm wide, bearing numerous, star-shaped flowers. Easy to grow in hot, sunny places. Use bulb size up to 10/up cm. Hybrids include ’Gladiator’-lilac-mauve; ‘Globus’- blue; ‘Lucy Ball’-lilac; ‘Rien Poortvliet’-lilac.
A.giganteum- - violet colour. This is a species from Central Asia. It is grown mainly for its decorative flowerheads, which stand well above other herbaceous plants. Stems reach a height of 150-200cm. Leaves are grey-blue and strap. Numerous, star-shaped flowers grow in dense spherical umbel which is up to 10cm in dm.
A.karataviense- rose-violet. They Inhabit Central Asia. A striking bulbous plant with very broad, flat, blue-green leaves, which are occasionally variegated. Stems attain a maximum height of 25cm. Flowers are clustered in umbels of 10cm width. Petals get recurved and twisted after flowering. Inflorescence is often dried and used in decorative arrangements.
A.moly- (Golden Garlic, Wild Onion, Lily Leek) - Bright yellow. This is a spp of South-West Europe. Stems grow to a height of 35cm. Leaves 1-3, are grey and strap-like. Star- like flowers are borne in umbels 5cm diam. Flowering occurs in mid-summer. Bulb size is up to 2.5cm across, spherical, producing many offsets. Cultivars include ’Jeannine’- bright yellow. ‘Luteum’- clear yellow.
A.neapolitanum-(Daffodil garlic, Flowering onion, Naples garlic) White flowers. Stem 20-50cm, solid 3-angled; Leaves 2, are spreading and narrowly strap- shaped. Star-shaped, scented flowers are borne in umbels 7-15cm across. Bulb is 1-2cm wide, sub-spherical, tunic membrane-like. Cultivar- Grandiflorum- flowers white
A.ostrowskianum- (A.oreophilum) Magenta flowers. It is native to Turkistan and very hardy to frost and snow. Plant height is 5-20cm. Leaves 2, linear, longer than stems. Spherical umbels (5cm wide) of large flowers; also suitable for rock gardens. Cultivar- Zwanenburg- deep carmine.
A.roseum (rose garlic)-Pink flowers. It is native to Mediterranean region, bears soft rose, mauve tinged flowers in spherical umbels, broad linear leaves up to 3cm across; Stems are10-65cm tall.
A.ramosum (A.odorum, A.tataricum, called fragrant-flowered garlic)-Plant height 24-50cm.Flowers are white and rose in colour. Bulbs up to 1cm diam. and clustered.
A.sativum- (Garlic) - Garlic is a member of the onion family and grows to a height of 60cm. Leaves 6-12, are linear and narrow. Bulb 3-6cm in dm, ovoid, containing 5-18 bulblets called cloves, which are held together with a thin, dry skin. The plants have heads of tiny white blooms flushed with red at mid-summer. Some of the improved varieties of garlic suitable for Indian climate are Sweta, Pusa Sel 10, Godavari, LCG, 1ARU52, Hg1, HG6, Agrifound White (G41), Agrifound Parvati, Yamuna Safed, Yamuna Safed 2 and G282.
A.schoenoprasum-(Chives, Cive) - This is the most common and commercially important species of Alliums. It is a culinary herb with clusters of bulbs, narrow, cylindrical, hollow leaves of about 10-60cm length. Flowers grow on 15-25cm stem with pink, purple or white umbels. Although it is a perennial species, it is often grown as an annual herb. Foliage is eaten as salads or cooked with other dishes.
Cultivars: Forescate- flowers rose pink, edible, plant up to 50cm tall.
Shepherds Crook - Grows up to 25cm, hybrid spp.
Schnittlauch- grows up to 20cm; var. sibiricum (A.sibiricum) - A stronger growing chive which can be up to 40cm tall, rose-violet flowers.
A.siculum- It is a hardy bulbous plant, produces unusual flower colour from lime-green to greenish -white.
A.sphaerocephalon- (Drumsticks) - Flowers reddish-purple. They make excellent dry flowers. Umbel 5cm diam. with about 100 florets on the shorter stem (60cm) can be stored in water for about 4 weeks at 0-2°C. Bulb size is 5-7cm dm.
A.tuberosum- (A. ulignosum; Also called Chinese chives, oriental garlic)-Widely cultivated in East Asia. Grows well in tropical and temperate climate, and appears hardy. It grows up to 50cm tall. Seeds can be germinated in pots at 21°C. This spp can produce stunning floral displays.