Allium

The genus Allium contains approximately 850 species, and it is the "type" for the family Alliaceae, although once considered part of Liliaceae and Amaryllidaceae. The genus is perhaps best known from the handful of species that make up the edible food crops we're all familiar with, e.g. onions (Allium cepa), leeks (Allium ampeloprasum), garlic (Allium sativum), scallion (Allium fistulosum relative), and chives (Allium schoenoprasum); but many more species are known for their ornamental value and are thus dubbed the "ornamental onions". Alliums are hardy perennials, having true bulbs, or less-developed vestigial bulbs attached to rhizomes, the latter known as rhizomatous onions. Many species require a winter dormancy and chill whereas other species such as those occurring in a mediterranean climate require a dry summer dormancy. The center of Allium diversity is in the Mediterranean/Middle East region, eastern Asia and North America. In North America, the center of diversity lies in western Texas and the California Floristic Province. There are about a hundred species and varieties that occur in North America.

A 2013 paper (a pdf file of 244 pages) entitled A Taxonomic Review of Allium subg. Melanocrommyum in Iran by Reinhard M. Fritsch and Mehrdad Abbasi presents detailed descriptions of 76 species and subspecies (10 newly described in this paper) plus 7 taxa too incompletely known to judge about their taxonomic state.

Allium was the subject of the Pacific Bulb Society's topic of the week in March 2003. Click on Introduction to read Mark McDonough's introduction and on Follow-ups from Mark to read some of his other contributions that week. One useful book for this genus is Davies, 1992 described in References.

Allium "Garden View" 1 - In July the allium garden is at its peak with numerous flowering species. In this view there's a drift of rosy-purple Allium cernuum in the background, an upright clump of A. plummerae with white flowers just starting to open, and in the foreground on the left, various forms of Allium flavum ssp. tauricum in pink and tan colors, with the drooping buds of Allium stellatum on the right (which are weeks away from bloom in late August). Allium "Garden View 2" - In mid July, among the searing heat in the upper 90's Fahrenheit (36 Celsius), the allium garden is a simmering landscape of pastel flower sprays and color bobs wavering in the hot breeze. The next photo shows bulb profiles - a view of four uprooted allium species with the soil washed off. From left to right the species are: A. przewalskianum (an Asian species; notice the orange bulb coats), Allium heldreichii (a hardy species from Greece), Allium amplectens (pink form of this western American onion), and Allium schoenoprasum 'Snowcap' on the right, a dwarf white-flowered chive. Photos by Mark McDonough. The final photo by David Pilling shows the characteristic flower of Alliums, with six stamens, six petals and a single style in the middle of a three celled ovary.

Alliums in the garden, Mark McDonoughAlliums in the summer garden, Mark McDonoughAllium profiles, Mark McDonoughAllium cristophii, David Pilling

Information on named species can be found on the wiki pages below or by selecting the species in the table.


Allium flavum Relatives - American alliums A-B - American alliums C - American alliums D-F - American alliums G-H - American alliums I-M - American alliums N-R - American alliums S-Z - Big Ball alliums - Blue alliums - chives - Domed alliums - Drumstick alliums - Miscellaneous alliums A-E - Miscellaneous alliums F-M - Miscellaneous alliums N-R - Miscellaneous alliums S-Z - Rhizomatous alliums


Jump to: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z

Allium Species
Allium abramsii, , Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
abramsii
Allium acuminatum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
acuminatum
Allium acutiflorum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
acutiflorum
Allium albidum hybrid, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
albidum
Allium alexeianum, 24th April 2014, Rimmer de Vries [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
alexeianum
Allium amethystinum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
amethystinum
Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ampeloprasum
Allium amplectens, Pinnacles, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
amplectens
Allium angulosum hybrid, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
angulosum
Allium ascalonicum, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ascalonicum
Allium atropurpureum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
atropurpureum
Allium atroviolaceum, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
atroviolaceum
Allium backhousianum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
backhousianum
Allium barsczeweskii, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
barsczeweskii
Allium basalticum, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
basalticum
Allium beesianum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
beesianum
Allium bolanderi, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bolanderi
Image not available [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
bulgaricum
Allium caeruleum, Jim McKenney [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
caeruleum
Allium caesium, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
caesium
Allium callimischon ssp. callimischon, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
callimischon
Allium campanulatum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
campanulatum
Allium canadense forma florosum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
canadense
Allium cardiostemon, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cardiostemon
Allium carinatum ssp. pulchellum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
carinatum
Allium carmeli, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
carmeli
Allium carolinianum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
carolinianum
Shallots, Allium cepa var. aggregatum, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cepa
Allium cernuum, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cernuum
Allium chamaemoly, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
chamaemoly
Allium commutatum, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
commutatum
Allium convallarioides, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
convallarioides
Allium cratericola, Tilden Botanic Garden, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cratericola
Allium crenulatum, Kathleen Sayce [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
crenulatum
Allium crispum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
crispum
Allium cristophii, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cristophii
Allium cyaneum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cyaneum
Allium cyathophorum var. farreri, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cyathophorum
Allium daninianum, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
daninianum
Allium darwasicum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
darwasicum
Allium decipiens, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
decipiens
Allium desertorum, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
desertorum
Allium diabolense, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
diabolense
Allium dichlamydeum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
dichlamydeum
Allium dictyoprasum up close, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
dictyoprasum
Allium douglasii, Richard Haard [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
douglasii
Allium ericetorum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ericetorum
Allium eulae, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
eulae
Allium falcifolium, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
falcifolium
Allium fimbriatum var. fimbriatum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
fimbriatum
Allium flavum ssp. tauricum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
flavum
Allium glandulosum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
glandulosum
Allium gooddingii, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
gooddingii
Allium griffithianum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
griffithianum
Allium guttatum (subsp?), Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
guttatum
Allium haematochiton, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
haematochiton
Allium heldreichii, Arnold Trachtenberg [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
heldreichii
Allium hermoneum, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hermoneum
Allium hickmanii, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hickmanii
Allium hollandicum, David Pilling [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hollandicum
Allium hookeri var. muliense, inflorescence from a top view, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hookeri
Allium howellii var. clokeyi, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
howellii
Allium hyalinum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hyalinum
Allium hymenorrhizum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
hymenorrhizum
Allium incensiodorum, Tom Mitchell [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
incensiodorum
Allium insubricum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
insubricum
Allium jacquemontii, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
jacquemontii
Allium jepsonii, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
jepsonii
Allium jesdianum ssp. angustitepalum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
jesdianum
Allium karataviense in habitat, Aksu Zhabaghli, 2900 m, Kazakhstan, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
karataviense
Allium kharputense, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kharputense
Allium kollmannianum, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kollmannianum
Allium komarowii, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
komarowii
Allium kurssanovii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
kurssanovii
Allium lacunosum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lacunosum
Allium lemmonii, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lemmonii
Allium lenkoranicum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lenkoranicum
Allium lineare, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lineare
Allium lipskyanum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
lipskyanum
Allium litvinovii, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
litvinovii
Allium macranthum, Arnold Trachtenberg [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
macranthum
Allium mannii, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
mannii
Allium membranaceum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
membranaceum
Allium meronense flowers, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
meronense
Allium meteoricum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
meteoricum
Allium moschatum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
moschatum
Allium neapolitanum, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
neapolitanum
Allium nevskianum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
nevskianum
Allium nigrum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
nigrum
Allium nutans, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
nutans
Allium obliquum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
obliquum
Allium obtusum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
obtusum
Allium oreophilum, May 2015, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
oreophilum
Allium paniculatum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
paniculatum
Allium paradoxum ssp. normale, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
paradoxum
Allium parryi, Jim Duggan [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
parryi
Allium parvum on Upper Table Rock, March 2015, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
parvum
Allium peninsulare, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
peninsulare
Allium perdulce, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
perdulce
Allium platycaule, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
platycaule
Allium plummerae, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
plummerae
Allium praecox, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
praecox
Allium przewalskianum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
przewalskianum
Allium psebaicum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
psebaicum
Allium pskemense, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pskemense
Allium pyrenaicum, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
pyrenaicum
Allium ramosum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ramosum
Allium regelianum, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
regelianum
Allium regelii, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
regelii
Allium robustum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
robustum
Allium roseum, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
roseum
Allium rothii, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rothii
Allium rotundum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rotundum
Allium rubens, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
rubens
Allium sanbornii, Tilden Botanic Garden, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sanbornii
Allium sativum, Janos Agoston [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sativum
Allium saxatile, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
saxatile
Allium schmitzii, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
schmitzii
Allium schubertii, Lauw de Jager [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
schubertii
Allium scorodoprasum ssp. jajlae, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
scorodoprasum
Allium scorzonerifolium spp. xericiense, Jane McGary [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
scorzonerifolium
Allium senescens ssp. glaucum, Arnold Trachtenberg [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
senescens
Allium serra, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
serra
Allium sharsmithiae, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sharsmithiae
Allium shevockii, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
shevockii
Allium sibthorpianum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sibthorpianum
Allium siculum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
siculum
Allium sieheanum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sieheanum
Allium sindjarense, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sindjarense
Allium sphaerocephalon, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
sphaerocephalon
Allium staticiforme, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
staticiforme
Allium subhirsutum, Angelo Porcelli [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
subhirsutum
Allium subvillosum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
subvillosum
Allium tardiflorum, Gideon Pisanty [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tardiflorum
Allium tauricola, Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tauricola
Allium texanum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
texanum
Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa', John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
thunbergii
Allium togasii, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
togasii
Allium tolmiei, Jane McGary [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tolmiei
Allium trachyscordum, Oron Peri [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
trachyscordum
Allium trifoliatum 'Cameleon', Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
trifoliatum
Allium tripedale, Kathleen Sayce [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tripedale
Allium triquetrum, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
triquetrum
Allium tuberosum, Arnold Trachtenberg [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tuberosum
Allium tuvinicum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
tuvinicum
Allium unifolium, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
unifolium
Allium ursinum, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
ursinum
Allium victorialis, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
victorialis
Allium wallichii at RBGE, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
wallichii
Allium winklerianum (with spider), Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
winklerianum
Allium woronowii, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
woronowii
Allium zebdanense, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
zebdanense
Allium sp. Chiapas, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
? sp.

Allium Hybrids and Selections
Allium 'Back to School', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Back to School'
Allium trifoliatum 'Cameleon', May 1st 2015, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Cameleon'
Allium nutans 'Caroline', Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Caroline'
Allium nutans 'Esmee', Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Esmee'
Allium 'Gladiator', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Gladiator'
Allium 'Globemaster', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Globemaster'
Allium 'Globus', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Globus'
Allium amplectens 'Graceful', May 2015, Travis Owen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Graceful'
Allium nutans 'Isabelle', Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Isabelle'
Allium 'Lucy Ball', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Lucy Ball'
Allium 'Millenium', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Millenium'
Allium 'Mount Everest', David Pilling [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Mount Everest'
Allium albidum hybrid, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
xalbidum
Allium cernuum hybrid, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cernuum x ?
Allium cernuum x rubens, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
cernuum x rubens
Allium nutans x stellatum, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
nutans x stellatum
Allium Sugar Melt to1 [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Sugar Melt'
Allium oreophilum 'Torch', Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Torch'
Allium 'Powder Puff', Wietse Mellema [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Powder Puff'
Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation', Janos Agoston [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
'Purple Sensation'
Allium stellatum x nutans, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
stellatum x nutans
Allium stellatum x senescens, Mark McDonough [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
stellatum x senescens

For more information on the huge and varied genus Allium, please visit Mark McDonough's website


Allium flavum Relatives - American alliums A-B - American alliums C - American alliums D-F - American alliums G-H - American alliums I-M - American alliums N-R - American alliums S-Z - Big Ball alliums - Blue alliums - chives - Domed alliums - Drumstick alliums - Miscellaneous alliums A-E - Miscellaneous alliums F-M - Miscellaneous alliums N-R - Miscellaneous alliums S-Z - Rhizomatous alliums


Return to the PBS wiki Photographs And Information page
Page last modified on July 26, 2015, at 08:43 AM