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Useful Tropical Plants

Allium spathaceum

Steud. ex A.Rich.

Amaryllidaceae


This species is considered to be no more than a form of Allium subhirsutum by many authorities, such as the Flora of Somalia[
500
Title
Flora of Somalia
Publication
 
Author
Thulin M. (Editor)
Publisher
Kew Publishing, London.
Year
1993
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the plants of the region, often adding notes on the plants uses.
]. However, we are following the treatment in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, which treats it as distinct[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Allium subhirsutum spathaceum (Steud. ex A.Rich.) Regel

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Allium spathaceum is a perennial plant. It produces two grass-like leaves up to 22cm long from a small, globose bulb.
No specific records of use have been seen for this plant, but it is closely related to another Allium species that is used for food, so this species is likely to be harvested from the wild for local use.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

500
Title
Flora of Somalia
Publication
 
Author
Thulin M. (Editor)
Publisher
Kew Publishing, London.
Year
1993
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the plants of the region, often adding notes on the plants uses.

Range

Northeast Africa - Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia.

Habitat

Found at elevations around 1,500 metres[
500
Title
Flora of Somalia
Publication
 
Author
Thulin M. (Editor)
Publisher
Kew Publishing, London.
Year
1993
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the plants of the region, often adding notes on the plants uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *
Other Uses Rating *
HabitBulb
Height0.20 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Easily grown in a warm sunny position[
90
Title
Bulbs
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. and Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1989
ISBN
0-330-30253-1
Description
Superbly illustrated, it gives brief details on cultivation and native habitat.
]. The plants require a period of rest, when they are best kept dry, but they do succeed in a well-drained sunny position in the open garden[
203
Title
Alliums. The Ornamental Onions.
Publication
 
Author
Davies. D.
Publisher
Batsford
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7134-7030-5
Description
Covers about 200 species of Alliums. A very short section on their uses, good details of their cultivation needs.
]. Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants[
203
Title
Alliums. The Ornamental Onions.
Publication
 
Author
Davies. D.
Publisher
Batsford
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7134-7030-5
Description
Covers about 200 species of Alliums. A very short section on their uses, good details of their cultivation needs.
].
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

The following uses are for the related species Allium subhirsutum. The uses for this species are likely to be very similar[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Bulb - raw or cooked. The bulb is about 15mm in diameter[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It is used like garlic as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods[
89
Title
Flowers of the Mediterranean.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Huxley. A.
Publisher
Hogarth Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7012-0784-1
Description
A very readable pocket flora that is well illustrated. Gives some information on plant uses.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The flavour is somewhat milder with a slight sweetness, and it can be used in much greater quantities than garlic[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The bulbs are harvested in mid summer once the plant has died down, and will store for at least 6 months[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The globose bulb is 12 - 18mm in diameter.

Leaves - raw or cooked. The leaves have a pleasant texture, they are slightly sweet with a mild garlic flavour and can be available all winter[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Flowers - raw[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. A mild garlic flavour with a delicate sweetness[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Used in the spring as a garnish on salads, they are attractive to both the eye and the tongue[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[
18
Title
Companion Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B.
Publisher
Watkins
Year
1979
ISBN
-
Description
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
,
20
Title
Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Publication
 
Author
Riotte. L.
Publisher
Garden Way, Vermont, USA.
Year
1978
ISBN
0-88266-064-0
Description
Fairly good.
,
54
Title
How to Enjoy your Weeds.
Publication
 
Author
Hatfield. A. W.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd
Year
1977
ISBN
0-584-10141-4
Description
Interesting reading.
]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
].

Other Uses

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[
20
Title
Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Publication
 
Author
Riotte. L.
Publisher
Garden Way, Vermont, USA.
Year
1978
ISBN
0-88266-064-0
Description
Fairly good.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the nursery for the first year or more, planting out the dormant bulbs once they have developed sufficiently.
Division after the plants have died down. Very easy, the bulbs divide freely and can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Allium+spathaceum>

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