Onion, Chives, Garlic, Scallion, Leek or Ornamental Onion

This is a large and very diverse genus of monocotyledonous plants. Depending on the taxonomic source, there are somewhere between 260 and 979 species of Allium. Almost all of them occur in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere with a small number also from tropical regions. The genus name is from the Latin word for garlic. Originally thought to possess medicinal and aphrodisiac properties in addition to flavoring.

Alliums come in a wide variety of sizes and colors from yellow to white to purple. Although several form a globe type bloom others have a more open flower. This genus includes edible plants such as onions, chivers and garlic.

Care and Culture of Alliums




Allium aflatunense Persian Onion
A. ampeloprasum Wild Leek
A. caeruleum  (A. azuretim) Blue Globe Onion
A. cepa Garlic
A. cernuum Nodding Onion
A. christophii Star of Persia
A. cyathophortim farreri Farrer Onion
A. douglasii Douglas Onion
A. fistulosum  
A. flavum Yellow Onion
A. giganteum Giant Allium
A. karataviense Turkestan Onion
A. moly Lily Leek, Golden Garlic
A. neapolitanum Naples Onion
A. nigrum  
A. nutans  
A. odorum = A. ramosum, A. tuberosum
A. ostrowskianum Ostrowsky Onion
A. pulchellum  
A. ramosum
(A. odorum)
Siberian Onion
A. rosenbachianum Rosenbach Onion
A. roseum grandiflorum Bigflower Rosy Onion
A. sativum  
A. schoenoprasum Chives
A. schubertii  
A. scorodoprasum Rocambole
A. senescens Ornamental Onion
A. siculum Mediterranean Bells
A. sikkimense  
A. sphaerocephalon Drumstick Chives
A. stellaturn Prairie Onion
A. tanguticum Tangut Onion
A. tricoccum Wild Leek
A. tuberosum Chinese Chive, Garlic Chive, Oriental Garlic
A. vineale Field Garlic

Species Height
A. acuminaturn 8-12 pink no early summer
A. aflatunense 24-36 lilac no late spring
A. caeruleum 12-24 blue no late spring
A. christophii 12-24 violet no summer
A. giganteum 36-60 lilac no late spring
A. karataviense 6-12 lilac no late spring
A. moly 12-15 yellow no early spring
A. neapolitanum 8-12 white yes early spring
A. ostrowskianum 8-12 rose yes early summer
A. sphaerocephaium 18-36 purple no late spring
A. triquetrum 8-15 white no summer

* Guides and Keys are from the book "Herbaceous Perennial Plants A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes" by Dr Allan M. Armitage of the University of Georgia. Varsity Press, Athens, Georgia. 1989 ISBN 0-942375-00. More on Dr Armitage and his other books.


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