Allium is a flowering plant which belongs to the onion genus, although it had been incorrectly clubbed with the lily family previously. This flower is also a very popular garden flower. The word allium is actually Latin for Garlic. These are beautiful flowers which have been used by several famous artists like Baker and Rembrandt who have highlighted the magnificence of these flowers in their paintings.
Allium flowers are predominant in the Northern Hemisphere and grow abundantly in Asia. Some of the species can be found in South America, Central America and Africa. These plants are found over a vast area throughout the world due to their adaptability to different types of growing conditions.
Meaning and Symbolism
The Allium Plant emerges from a single bulb, which is probably why it is said to stand for unity and also represents patience and humility. The Latin word for onion is unio which also is synonymous with the word single.
Facts about Allium Flowers
- These flowering plants are very popularly used as borders due to architectural qualities and the ornamental nature of the flowers.
- There are numerous varieties of alliums, the most common being christophil, which is characterized by pink blossom balls during summertime.
- The blue variety of allium is caerulum which is a bit smaller that christohpil but produce an electric blue blossom.
- For yellow color, flavum is used and neaplitanum produces white, scented blossoms which appear in early spring.
- Alliums also grow in different sizes which range from a towering 60 inches of giganreum to the tiny dwarves like molly, which is about 8 inches.
- This plant has also got some medicinal value as it is considered to be a source of vitamins and is believed to defend the human body against disease and infection.
- This flower also provides relief against psoriasis and other skin conditions.
- A word of caution – allium is poisonous if ingested by dogs and cats.
Cultivation of Allium
- Allium is sown during the autumn season.
- The soil should be well-prepared with adequate amounts of compost added to the soil.
- The bulbs should be checked prior to planting to ensure good condition.
- Any outer skin attached to the bulbs should be removed before planting.
- In the event of any rot being noticed, fungicide should be applied to the bulbs.
- Depending on the size of the flowers to be grown, the bulbs are planted between six to eight inches in depth.
- Regular watering should be done for the alluim plants commencing from spring to grow strong plants. This also prevents the foliage on the allium flowers becoming yellow.
- An added advantage of the allium plant is that they do not need to be replanted each year as the bulbs that remain in the ground will propagate again in the next season.
- Most of the species will grow just as well in containers (like flowerpots) as they do in open ground.