Saturday, August 7, 2010

Allium -Latin For Garlic


Allium, an interesting group of 750+ plants that are grown for decoration and cooking. Most grow in temperate climates of the northern hemisphere such as Asia, but there are a few that grow in Chile, Brazil or tropical Africa. Species grow in various conditions from dry, well-drained mineral-based soils to moist, organic soils; most grow in sunny locations but a number also grow in forests, or even in swamps / water. They vary in height between 6" to 6'. The flowers themselves come in a wide range of design as well as a great palate of colors such as purple, pink, maroon, red, white, blue, and yellow. The basic varieties of Allium that we are familiar with are garlic, onions, chives, shallots, leeks, and scallions.

I have planted a number of different varieties and have them blooming from early Spring to late Summer. The plants that I have chosen for the gardens are mostly the Mediterranean varieties due to the drought tolerant conditions here at Beech Street Gardens. If you have the opportunity to add them to your gardens DO..........They are a very delightful plant, Allium vineale, Allium siculum, and Allium christophii are just a couple of others that are a great addition to any gardens. They are truly showstoppers when in bloom. The Fall is the best time for planting. When you are picking out your other bulbs for planting this Fall add a couple of Alliums just for fun. You'll wish you had planted more.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 10

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