Two Allium of the season
Fri, 01 Jun 2007 19:40:01 PDT
Regarding Allium maximowiczii ssp. shibutsiense 'Alba' on the PBS Wiki, this represents a spelling error on my part, it should be Allium maximowiczii var. shibutsuense 'Alba', the main species and variety level described in Ohwi's "Flora of Japan", with synonym Allium schoenoprasum var. shibutsuense Kitam., with Ohwi putting it in context with maximowiczii.  Per the 1998 compendium of all known Allium epithets and synonyms; "Nomenclator Alliorum, Allium names and synonyms - a world guide", compiled by Mary Gregory, Reinhard M. Fritsch, Nikolai W. Friesen, Furkat O. Khassanov, and Dale McNeal, published by the Royal Botanic Garden Kew, ISBN 1 900347 64 4, Allium maximowiczii var. shibutsuense (Kitam.) Ohwi, is a validly published species.  And yes, IPNI is missing this name.  So far as 'Alba' versus 'Album', I received the plant as 'Alba', but it is just a cultivar name, so it is probably okay that it doesn't jive in gender.

Mary Sue:  I wanted to go in and edit my spelling error on the PBS wiki tonight, but have lost the email with the new login password information for editing PBS wiki pages... can you send the info to me privately please.

So far as Allium obliquum, it's a species I grew years ago and much admired, and have germinated fresh seedlings of this year.  It has garden "presence", with smooth, round-in-cross-section, rat-tail-like curling foliage in tall definitive clumps, and handsome chartreuse flower knobs.  I LIKE it and look forward to growing it again.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)

Message: 5
ate: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 16:41:08 -0400
rom: "Jim McKenney" <>
ubject: [pbs] Two Allium of the season
o: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <>
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Two years ago while canvassing a small nursery I came across several Allium
or sale and purchased them. Two of these are in full bloom right now. One,
llium maximowiczii, is very decorative: it forms tight clumps of foliage
omewhat in the style of a short version of chives. The foliage is nearly
idden now by the very numerous flowers. These are whitish ? they look very
hite until you see them next to something really white. The scapes are only
bout six inches or so high, the umbels are about ? inch in diameter. >From a
istance they remind me of the clover inflorescences now spangling the lawn.
 bought this as Allium maximowiczii album, but learned on the wiki that it
s A. maximowiczii ssp. shibutsiense ?Alba?.
Now that I?ve written that name, a question arises. Shouldn?t it be ?Album?,
o agree in gender with Allium? The answer is perhaps not as obvious as it
eems. If ?Alba? is a cultivar name, I don?t think it has to agree in
ender. If it is part of a name subject to the international rules, it does.
ut which is it?
Or maybe it does not matter. An IPNI search on the name shibutsiense turned
p nothing in Allium; but IPNI does list an Allium maximowiczii f.
eucanthum which might be my plant: the publication where the name was
ublished seems to describe alpine flora of Japan.   
This post is really about the other one: Allium obliquum. I bought this
ecause the tag said it had yellow flowers. When I got home, I checked
oogle images and was disappointed by what I found. So the plant sat around
n its pot and didn?t get potted that year. I eventually relented, and I?m
lad I did. It?s blooming now, and the flowers are, as expected, not a good
ellow. They are a sort of chartreuse, in walnut-sized umbels. 
To my tastes the great thing about this plant is that it is a sort of
iniature hard-neck garlic, a miniature ophioscorodon (I love that name).
he developing scapes go through  the same  twisting, arching, coiling phase
een in the hard-necks. They have topped out at thirty-four inches. This is
ery decorative!
Curious, I bit into a leaf today: lots of garlic taste there. I don?t have
nough bulbs to eat them - yet. 
To think that I almost tossed this plant: you really have to see things for
ourself. Suddenly this mini-rocambole is one of my favorite Allium. 
Jim McKenney

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