Allium TOW - misc. responses to John Ingram
Sun, 09 Mar 2003 19:30:53 PST
John Ingram wrote about his experiences with Alliums.  In reference to Allium 
aflatunense, most likely your plants are A. hollandicum... a name given to 
the plant that has been cultivated for a very long time under the name 
"aflatunense".  The true plant A. aflatunense is very different that the 
plant in cultivation, and has only recently become available.

"They have never reseeded that I am aware."
When doing summer clean-up, I pluck out the dried flower stalks, and dump 
them, along with weeds and other garden refuse, into the rough borders of the 
yard.  Much to my surprise, the seed germinates and grow into flowering 
plants, growing and competing in 3' tall grass and weeds!  Of particular 
surprise, was a growing colony of Allium cristophii (note spelling, it's "cr" 
not "chr") that seeded in where I was dumping the spent stalks.  I had dozens 
of flowering bulbs, growing in full shade no less!  Last fall I dug up all of 
these bonus bulbs and planted them out into regular garden beds.  It should 
be noted that the self-sown A. cristophii seedlings, while growing in shade, 
were in heavy clay, in a raised area that becomes bone dry during the summer. 
 The bulbs were very close to the surface.

"I do have a plant that came only labeled as curly allium."
There's lots of so-called curly onions.  Jane is correct in suggesting the 
name most often refers to Allium senescens ssp. glaucum.  However the 
nomenclature of this whole group has been recently revised.  It seems that 
"ssp. glaucum" is absorbed under regular A. senescens (per Dr. Friesen), 
however A. senescens in the European sense has been redefined to include only 
the Asian representatives of the genus, with the European representatives 
(ssp. montanum) restored to an earlier name A. lusitanicum.  According to Dr. 
Friesen, these is indeed Allium spirale, an old resurrected name for the 
curly-leaf entity.  Most plants grown in cultivation under the name A. 
senescens ssp. glaucum are derived from garden hybrids and are extremely 
variable, thus the name has little meaning.  By the way, check out the PBS 
wiki Allium Chives subpage for other curly onions, and the Rhizomatous Onions 
for other possibilities.

Mark McDonough        Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States    "New England"               USDA Zone 5
>> web site under construction - <<
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