Allium album Santi
Allium amblyopetalum Link
Allium candidissimum Cav.
Allium candidum C.Presl
Allium cowanii Lindl.
Allium gouanii G.Don
Allium inodorum Aiton
Allium lacteum Sm.
Allium laetum Pollini
Allium liliflorum Zeyh.
Allium sieberianum Schult. & Schult.f.
Allium subhirsutum Delile ex Boiss.
Allium subhirsutum Sieber ex Kunth
Allium sulcatum DC.
Geboscon inodorum (Aiton) Thell.
Nectaroscordum neapolitanum (Cirillo) Galasso & Banfi
Nothoscordum inodorum (Aiton) G.Nicholson
Common Name: Daffodil Garlic
Allium neapolitanum is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing 2 - 3 leaves 15 - 50cm long and a flowering scape 20 - 60cm tall from an underground bulb. The plant divides and also self-sows, it forms in time a sizeable cluster of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. A very ornamental plant, often grown in gardens, it is also sometimes grown as a decorative indoor plant[
Plants can sometimes self-sow to the point of nuisance[
]. They have escaped from cultivation in southwest N. America and become naturalized on disturbed ground[
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[
Mediterranean - Portugal to Greece and Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya.
Dry grassy places and fields[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Allium neapolitanum is a Mediterranean plant, growing best in areas with a distinct dry season in the summer to allow its bulbs to ripen. The plant is also said to be rather frost tender[
], though it can tolerate occasional dips to between -5 and -10°c. We have found it surprisingly tolerant of rain in our garden in Cornwall, England, and have also seen reports of it growing in northeast England where winters can be very wet and cold[
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sheltered sunny position in a light well-drained soil[
]. Established plants are reasonably drought tolerant[
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[
]. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants[
There is at least one named variety, 'Grandiflorum' has a richer display of flowers than the type[
]. In sunny weather the flowers develop a sweet scent[
Plants come into new growth in late autumn and provide edible leaves throughout most winters[
When well-sited, plants can sometimes self-sow to the point of nuisance[
Leaves - raw or cooked. Delicious in salads, they start off being sweet and then develop a fairly strong garlic-like flavour, they are liked by most people who try them[
]. The leaves are available from late autumn until early spring and are greatly appreciated at this time of year[
Bulb - raw or cooked[
]. Rather small but a very nice mild garlic flavour[
]. Sliced up, they make a delicious addition to salads and can also be used as a vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods. They are harvested in mid summer once the plant dies down and will store for 6 months or more[
]. The bulbs are 10 - 20mm in diameter[
Flowers - raw or cooked. Excellent in salads, making them look attractive as well as adding a strong onion flavour[
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 greenhouse[
]. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in early summer. 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 on for the first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late summer whilst the bulbs are dormant.
Division in summer once the plant has died down. Very easy, the bulbs divide freely and can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.