This species has at times been treated as a synonym for Allium macleanii[
Allium procerum Trautv. ex Regel
Common Name: Giant Onion
Allium giganteum is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing several leaves 40 - 60cm long and a flowering scape 80 - 150cm tall from an underground bulb[
The plant is possibly harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens, valued especially for its floral display[
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[
W. Asia - Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan
Loose-textured slopes in the lower mountain zone[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Allium giganteum is a plant of semi-arid areas, and can tolerate cold winters with temperatures going below zero - at least down to -5°c without protection in our winter-wet garden in Cornwall, England. However, it grows best when given a dry period in the summer and autumn when it is dormant and so, even in very freely-draining soils, does not usually do very well outdoors in areas with summer and autumn rain. In such areas it is best grown in a cold greenhouse or bulb frame, though it might be sufficient to simply place a cloche over the plant after it has flowered and then remove it when new growth appears in spring[
Prefers a hot, sunny position in a light well-drained soil[
], it grows well in the light shade of thinly-clad shrubs that also like hot dry conditions[
]. The bulbs tend to rot when grown in cool wet climates, even if they are given sharp drainage[
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[
]. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants[
Bulb - raw or cooked[
]. We have seen no reports of edibility, but the bulb is certainly not poisonous and has a pleasant mild onion flavour[
]. The fairly large, ovoid bulbs are 40 - 60mm in diameter[
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.