Yellow Autumn flowering Allium

Mark McDonough
Thu, 22 Sep 2011 18:01:16 PDT
Mark BROWN <> wrote:
> Hello,
> I have a query that perhaps the Allium experts here can help on?
> Last autumn I was in the Peloponese and collected in full flower a
> soft yellow/green flowered Allium.
> It was a bit like A.ericetorum.
> It, like A. callimischon, produces flower stalks with buds much
> earlier on in the year that stay closed until late september early
> october.
> Could any one help in identifying it please?
> Kind regards,
> Mark

Hi Mark, your Allium sounds interesting, do you have a photo of it?  In 
the past 20 years there's been dozens of new species named in Greece 
(including some in Crete and Aegean Islands).  I found one paper that 
reported there are 85 species in Greece.  Many of these species seem 
closely allied to the Allium cupani and A. callimischon group, that 
produce the early deciduous leaves leaving bare stems and inconspicuous 
buds that pop into bloom in late summer to fall, as you described for A. 
callimischon; I think the taxonomists in the region might be splitting 
hairs of slicing their onions too thinly ;-)  You can google "allium 
species greece" (without quotes) and get lots of links to separately 
published species, some are available as free PDFs with good 
descriptions and line drawings or a photo or two, most are unfortunately 
for purchase, so it's hard to know more about many of these species 
other than a name.

There's a surprising number of fall bloomers from the region, some are 
endemic while others range into neighboring areas like Turkey and 
Cyprus.  Of those Grecian Allium species that I think are late blooming 
include:  apolloniensis, aegilicum, ritsii, callimischon, chamaespathum, 
tardans, dilitatum, eivissanum, pentadactyli, chalkii, rhodiacum, 
platakisii, cupani ssp. hirtovaginatum, brussalisii (2008), 
archeotrichon, etc.  I can't tell you which of these might have yellow 

Another new one, Allium apergii (described 2009), has yellow to greenish 
yellow flowers, blooms July-August.  There are other new to new-ish 
names, I don't know much about them, nor about when they flower, such as 
A. dirphianum, phitosianum, rausii, samothracicum (2000, blooms 
June-July), brulloi, runemarkii, lagarophylum, and more.

So, I can't really narrow down your search for an ID very much, other 
than offering this context.  On the Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum, 
there have been photos of late-summer or autumn blooming alliums from 
the Aegean region, here are some links:

Links to photos of two fall bloomers, A. tardans & A. chamaespathum
(click on thumbnails to enlarge)…

Allium autumnale from Cyprus
(click on thumbnail to enlarge)…

Allium tardiflorum (Israel, thought to be related to A. tardans)
(click on thumbnail to enlarge)…

Unknown (yellowish) autumn flowering Allium from S Turkey?…

Mark McDonough
The Onion Man :-)
USDA Zone 5
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)

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