Allium lilacinum Royle ex Regel
Allium rubens Baker
Allium roylei is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from an underground bulb. It produces 1 - 3 grass-like leaves and a flowering scape 20 - 40cm tall. New bulbs are produced on a short rhizome, the plant developing into a cluster of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is used in breeding programmes with the common onion.
Population reduction is suspected to have occurred in this species, and the causes are ongoing due to habitat loss which is cited by Sharma and Gohil (2008) as a particular pressure on this species and well as the issue of sterility limiting population expansion. Furthermore, the local use of the species is reported to be resulting in over-consumption so current and potential levels of exploitation are suspected to be high. The plant is classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
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[
Asia - Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (western Himalayas)
|Conservation Status||Near Threatened
|Other Uses Rating||
Species in this genus generally prefer a sunny position in a light, well-drained soil.
This species suffers from intrinsic stress in the form of sterility, which is due to meiotic irregularities and chromosomal heteromorphism, which is common in wild populations of this species. This can be counteracted by propagation by bulbs, but this is seriously hindered in nature by a lack of dispersal mechanisms and results in small, restricted subpopulations with little chance of expansion[
The plant is used as a condiment[
]. The ovoid bulb is 20 - 30mm long[
The bulbs are used to relieve headaches in humans and colic pain in horses[
The plant contains sulphur compounds, flavonols, phenols, saponins and ascorbic acid. It has been shown to have antifungal, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity[
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[
The plant has been used in breeding programmes to confer downy mildew resistance to the onion (Allium Cepa), and is known to be partially resistant to onion leaf blight[
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.