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Allium paradoxum - (M.Bieb.)G.Don.

Common Name Few-Flowered Leek
Family Alliaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[76].
Habitats Hedge banks and waste places on damp soils[17, 90].
Range W. Asia - Iran. Naturalized in a number of places in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Allium paradoxum Few-Flowered Leek


(c) 2010 Ken Fern, Plants For A Future
Allium paradoxum Few-Flowered Leek

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Allium paradoxum is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf from November to June, in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; not Deep Shade; Hedgerow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked. The rather small bulb is up to 10mm in diameter[200], it has a mild garlic flavour and can be used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. It is harvested in early summer when the plant has died down and will store for at least 6 months[K]. Leaves - raw or cooked. A leek substitute[K]. The leaves are available from late autumn until the spring, they are nice in salads when they are young, or cooked as a vegetable or flavouring as they get older[K]. The leaves have a milder and more delicate flavour than onions[K]. Flowers - raw. Juicy with a mild garlic flavour, they make a tasty and decorative garnish on salads[K].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anticholesterolemic  Digestive  Tonic

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].

References

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Other Uses

Repellent

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[20].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil[1, 42]. Plants grow well in a heavy wet clay soil in north-west England, where they are self-sowing[203]. Plants are shade tolerant[31], they are easily grown in a cool leafy soil[90] and grow well in light moist woodland[203]. Plants are not very hardy outside the milder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. There are two forms of this species. The sub-species A. paradoxum paradoxum produces mainly bulbils instead of flowers, this form is naturalized in Britain and can spread quite invasively[K]. The sub-species A. paradoxum normale does not form bulbils. It produces a large umbel of flowers in the spring and is very ornamental at this time. It is not invasive[200, K]. The seeds have an oil-bearing appendage which is attractive to ants. The ants carry the seed away to eat the oil and then discard the seed, thus aiding dispersal of the plant[203]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. The picked flowers can remain fresh for several weeks[89]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year if they have developed sufficiently, otherwise grow on in pots for a further year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Bulbils, harvested in mid to late spring, can either be planted immediately or be stored and then planted in late summer. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the bulbs divide fairly freely and can be dug up then replanted direct into their permanent positions if required.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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123

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(M.Bieb.)G.Don.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

evanjelene kennedy   Sat Mar 14 2009

geocities CANDATA:Medicinal plants used in the treatment of cancer

craig   Thu Dec 10 2009

Whilst this is undoubtedly a very enlightening & useful website, its failure to highlight the dangers of known invasive species is rather alarming. Allium paradoxum is on Plantlife'sTOP 20 ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES WHICH THREATEN THE UK’S FLORA, "Very invasive woodland and riverbank plant, spreading rapidly, especially in southern Scotland. Competes with native spring flowers."

Plantlife

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