Allium hendersonii B.L.Rob. & Seaton
Common Name: Douglas' Onion
Allium douglasii is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing 2 leaves 9 - 28cm long and a flowering scape 20 - 30cm tall from a group of 1 - 4 underground bulbs[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
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[
Western N. America - Washington to Oregon
Low hills in shallow soil that is wet in winter but dry in summer[
]. Winter-wet, shallow soils on rock outcrops; at elevations from 400 - 1,300 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Allium douglasii is found in areas that have cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers. So long as it is given a well-drained soil, it generally grows well in cultivation.
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained dry to moist soil[
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[
Bulb - raw or cooked. A mild and sweet flavour, it can be sliced and used in salads or used as a vegetable or flavouring in cooked foods[
]. The bulb is up to 3cm long and 2cm wide[
Leaves - raw or cooked.
Flowers - raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
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[
Allium species usually grow well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but they inhibit the growth of legumes[
]. They are, in general, bad companions 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 spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough.
Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.