Alliums are a significant species of bulbous, herbaceous perennials that usually have an onion odor and taste.
- Indeed garlic, leeks, onions, chives and shallots are all Alliums.
- Many alliums are grown as decorative flowers rather than as a food crop.
- Plants have bulbs that reform annually from the base of the old bulb, or are produced on the ends of rhizomes or the ends of stolons.
- The bulbs have outer coats that are commonly brown or grey, with a smooth texture, and are fibrous, or with cellular reticulation.
- Many alliums have basal leaves that go white or wither away from the tips downward before or while the plant flowers.
- Flowers are produced in groups forming a globe or umbels where the outside flowers bloom first and flowering progresses to the inside
Ornamental onions are grown for their showy flower heads.
Alliums grow in a wide range of sizes and shades of blue, purple, white and yellow.
Florists find Alliums have a long cut life of 12-20 days.
Alliums and their seed heads are suitable for drying.