Allium karataviense


Quick Characteristics:

Life form: bulb
 

Allium karataviense Regel is a native of Central Asia where it grows in loose limestone scree and blooms in April and May. It is a popular rock garden plant with flowers that are dried for flower arrangements. It also had beautiful broad foliage. In the first two photographs below taken by Mark McDonough we see regular A. karataviense on the left (purplish tinged foliage) and A. karataviense 'Ivory Queen' on the right (no purple tinge). The next two show 3 different forms of wild collected Allium karataviense, showing considerable diversity in foliar and flower form. The one in the center, with red flowers, is from the same locale where 'Red Globe' was first collected. All three collections are from Central Asia. The final photo by Oron Peri is of A. karataviense in its habitat.

Allium karataviense, Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense, Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense, Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense, Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense in habitat, Aksu Zhabaghli, 2900 m, Kazakhstan, Oron Peri

Photos below by Wietse Mellema of a huge bulb and a plant with bulbils, respectively. It is not advisable to propagate Alliums by bulbils, it will likely result in plants that create more bulbils in place of flowers.

Allium karataviense bulb, Wietse MellemaAllium karataviense bulbils, Wietse Mellema

Allium karataviense 'Ivory Queen' is a fantastic clean white form of this popular species. It flowers the same time as the regular pinkish form, seen on the left. Photos by Mark McDonough.

Allium karataviense 'Ivory Queen', Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense 'Ivory Queen', Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense 'Ivory Queen', Mark McDonough

Allium karataviense 'Red Globe' - This is a recently available form of A. karataviense ssp. henrikii Rukšans that's very different, flowering much earlier, with much larger and longer gray foliage, and huge globes of dark red-violet flowers. The first photo shows 3 bulbs in full bloom. The second shot shows the inflorescence swelling with red-purple seed pods and the much smaller flower globe of typical A. karataviense in the background. It's hard to believe that this hasn't been identified as a new species of subspecies of A. karataviense. Evidently, A. karataviense in the wild is extremely variable. Photos 1-2 by Mark McDonough. Third photo by Wietse Mellema.

Allium karataviense subsp. henrikii 'Red Globe', Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense subsp. henrikii 'Red Globe', Mark McDonoughAllium karataviense subsp. henrikii 'Red Globe', Wietse Mellema

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Page last modified on January 30, 2024, at 08:55 AM