Allium tsoongii F.T.Wang & Tang
Allium hookeri is an evergreen, herbaceous, perennial plant producing a cluster of leaves 20 - 60cm long and flowering scapes 20 - 60cm tall. The plant grows from a cluster of thin bulbs with thick, fleshy roots[
The plant is a popular food in parts of China and southeast Asia, where the leaves are commonly used as a garnish and flavouring[
]. It is gathered from the wild and also often cultivated as a food crop in southern China and northwest India and is often found for sale in local markets[
Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[
E. Asia - Southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar
Forests, forest margins, moist places and meadows; at elevations from 1,400 - 4,200 metres[
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Allium hookeri grows in the subtropical and tropical regions of China, India, Bhutan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, where it is found at elevations up to 4,200 metres.
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[
]. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Used as a garnish and flavouring on foods[
Flowers - raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Bulb - raw or cooked.
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system[
Alliums generally grow well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, celery, celariac, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[
]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the juice of most species in this genus (especially those with a strong onion or garlic smell) can be used as a moth repellent[
The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[
Seed - sow in a containers. The seed germinates over a wide range of temperatures, it is faster at higher temperatures[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out when large enough.
Division of the plants is very easy and can be done at almost any time of the year though the spring is probably best. The divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.
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