Hello PBS'rs, I come home tonight to see some messages regarding Allium, the topic of the week. Sorry about not pursuing the discussion more actively, but I've been on a big deadline at work, which fortunately concluded today. The following is a response to the miscellany of messages previously posted. 1. Mary Sue mentioned allium longevity (or should it be brevity). Alberto addressed the same issue. Alberto Castillo and I have a mutual friend in Thad Howard in Texas (southwestern USA), who is an undeniable bulb expert, but also a devoted student of the genus Allium as it occurs in the American southwest and Mexico, along with his being famous for his studies on Zephyranthes, Hymenocallis, Habranthes, Nothoscordum, and other bulbous genera. What seems clear to me, is that many Allium species from Europe and Asia do not tolerate excessively warm or moderate climes, and require long cold winters for proper rest and dormancy. He could not grow any of the easy Asian "cricket ball" alliums that we take for granted in northeastern USA, namely species like A. karataviense, giganteum, hollandicum (aflatunense of Hort.). 2. Allium hyalinum - I've grown several forms of this. In New England where I live, it appears marginally hardy at best, and rarely lives more than 2 years. In the Seattle Washington area (Pacific northwestern USA) where I once lived, it was easy and lovely, particularly in a partly shaded site, perhaps under the cover of a large evergreen. It is closely allied to Allium praecox (which I haven't grown), which makes sense given that Allium praecox was once considered a variety of A. hyalinum. I wish I could claim success growing this delicate beauty. 3. Allium sanbornii and A. jepsonii. Four years ago I purchased bulbs of both, plus some subspecies of Allium sanbornii, from Jim Robinett. They are still with me and seem hardy despite their habitat at low to moderate altitudes in California. These are odd rather than beautiful onions. Both have a single, long, whip-like leaf (firm and round in cross-section like a rat's tail), with a flower bud that emerges through a tiny hole or incision in the base of the terete leaf... odd! The flowers of these two species is very different, but they have the same growth and leaf characteristic. The flowers of A. jepsonii are white, flared campanulate, and with red veins, looking like a normal Allium. The flowers of A. sanbornii are tightly closed and constricted at the tips, yet looking "feathery" on account of long appendages on the tepals. Both flower very late, in July and August, and seem tempermental in terms of moisture (too much = not good). 4. Allium tuberosum was mentioned. Yes it's lovely, and it flowers late (late August through September), but it's an aggressive THUG. The fleshy rhizomes are deeply seated and tenacious, whereas the growth above the multi-pronged rhizome is fleshy and tender... pulling on plants or seedlings results in the plant ripping off, leaving the fiercely resistent roots to resprout. The plant is apomictic, and produces seed without cross pollination. The seed is produced exceedingly quickly, with pods opening and showing seed while there are still fresh flowers in the inflorescences. I cannot recommend growing this pretty thug. 5. Paige Woodward refers to recent taxonomic treatments. There are many recent taxonomic treatments in the Allium arena, and for the most part, most seem reasonable and well placed, unlike some of the other nonsense and upheaval that's happening in the taxonomic front in general these days. The couple of papers, that I think Paige refers to, are generalized summaries of more detailed publications by the same authors just a year or two previous. They do indeed present new territory, but they appear well founded. 6. Arnold, I couldn't agree with you more. I love New England winters, because it gives me a complete break from gardening. It lets me concentrate on other activities, albeit largely plant related, but it's a respite from the demand of gardening and mowing the lawn after the thick of it in summer months. More to follow, Mark McDonough Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States firstname.lastname@example.org "New England" USDA Zone 5 ============================================== >> web site under construction - http://www.plantbuzz.com/ << alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, western american alpines, iris, plants of all types!