Allium sphaerocephalon

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Allium sphaerocephalon L.

Alliaceae

Life form: bulb or tuber

Exposure: sun   5

Moisture: dry bis Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay - Soil: peat

Arrangement: basal
Leaves: decidious

Shape: linear

Division: simple

Shape: campanulate
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

179A / 961d22 

Inflorescence: umbel

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Liliopsida
Subclassis:
Liliidae
Superordo:
Lilianae
Ordo:
Amaryllidales

Allium sphaerocephalon, commonly known as round-headed leek, belongs to the group of bulbous and tuberous plants.

Naming

Allium sphaerocephalon was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Allium sphaerocephalon is a species in the genus Allium which contains approximately 943 to 1011 species and belongs to the family of the Alliaceae (Garlic Family). The type species of the genus is Allium sativum.

Characteristics

Allium sphaerocephalon - buds
Allium sphaerocephalon - flowers

Growth

The plants reach heights of 50 to 90 centimetres.

Leaves

Allium sphaerocephalon is deciduous. The yellow-green, simple leaves are basal. They are linear with entire margins and parallel venation.

Flowers and Fruits

Allium sphaerocephalon produces umbels of dark-red campanulate flowers from June to July.

The plants carry ornamental loculicidal capsules.

Root System

Distribution

Allium sphaerocephalon is native to the whole of Europe with the exception of Sicily, Turkey, North Africa and the Caucasus.

Cultivation

The plants prefer a sunny situation on dry to moderately moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy, sandy clay, loamy clay or peaty soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -29°C (USDA zone 5).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • flower beds (rich soil)
  • open areas
  • steppes/dry forests (usually calcareous soil)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought

Uses

The recommended planting distance is 25 centimetres, the plants are best planted in groups of 5 to 10. Suited for roof greening, as well as suited as cut flowers and as bee pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.

  • Cut back after flowering.

Propagate by sowing or by bulblets.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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