melanocrommyum - Gallery 2002
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genus Allium is so large, that it's been subdivided into sections. Perhaps
the best known section in the genus is Melanocrommyum, a grouping that
includes such familiar species as A. schubertii, cristophii, giganteum, and
karataviense, all of which are available wherever Holland bulbs are sold in
the fall. But even this section is unwieldy and poorly understood,
taxonomic studies has resulted in a series of subsections being defined
that help add further organization to the Melanocrommyum. The long
and short of it: there's a lot more to section Melanocrommyum than first
meets the eye. In this gallery, a few of the less common types have
been featured, along with more familiar species as well.
Click on these thumbnail images
to see larger, more complete images.
Each link leads to a mini-gallery of 2 or more larger photos.
|Allium woronowii, a rather
member of section melanocrommyum
from Turkey and neighboring Armenia.
This particular form shown here, is robust
with beautiful flowers heavily scented like
carnations or lilacs. The floral perfume
is intoxicating, as the inflorescence is
visually intoxicating to the eye.
Allium woronowii 'Handzorut'
Ruksans offers two forms of this species,
both considerably smaller than than the
form shown above. This cultivar is only
8"-12" tall (20-30 cm), with muted pink
flowers and a nice fragrance, but not
nearly as fragrant as the previous. From
Handzorut, S. Armenia.
Allium decipiens -
The distribution and
status of this species needs further study,
even it's placement under Allium section
melanocrommyum has been questioned.
A lovely species from Turkey, to Bulgaria
and Russia. The recent treatment in Flora
of China dispels claims of this species
occurring in China.
Allium karataviense -
An old favorite
species that needs no introduction here,
one of the most notable alliums on account
of the extraordinary broad pleated foliage.
This mini gallery depicts 3 different clones
of Allium karataviense, each with it's own
distinctive growth form.
Allium karataviense 'Red
Globe' - wow,
a dark red-purple form of the ever popular
A. karataviense. This cultivar has extra
long, pointed gray leaves, and large heads
of deep metallic red-purple flowers on 12"
(30 cm) tall stems. A noteworthy recent
introduction, it's available from Pacific
Nursery, as are many of those shown here.
Allium jesdianum ssp.
- perhaps the finest of the A. jesdianum
selections, with large ample heads of bright
violet and white stamens, atop 2' (60 cm)
stems. The contrasting white stamens
create a most distinctive two-toned floral
Allium robustum - I'm
not sure why this
species is so rare in cultivation, it's been
known to botany since 1841! From
Kazakhstan to few provinces in China, it's
a very good allium, yet scantily described
thus difficult to be certain with it's ID. In this
specimen the flowers are a memorable
deep wine red on stems 2' (60 cm) tall.
Allium darwasicum -
this one has to be
seen in person to be fully appreciated. It
can be variable, but this form is rather
good, with chartreuse flowers, the stamens
beginning dark blue-gray, then age to tan-
ochre. The most remarkable feature how-
ever, is the intense fragrance precisely
mimicking gardenia. From Central Asia.
Allium 'Lucy Ball' -
This is one of many
hybrid Alliums developed by Jan Bijl in
Holland (the magnificent 'Globemaster'
perhaps his most fantastic hybrid). This
fine hybrid, named for Lucille Ball, is an
A. elatum x A. aflatunense cross.
Allium winklerianum -
Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, and one province
of China. I like this species a lot, as the
flowers are an intense, luminous purple,
as well as heavily perfumed like sugar
candy. My two daughters confirmed that
the flowers smell like "Pez" or "Smarties".
Allium 'Gladiator' -
From the same cross
as 'Lucy Ball', this is another Allium elatum
x A. aflatunense cross. The colossal crop
of buds holds promise for the sphere of
purple that's forthcoming atop a 4' stem.
The bold, shiny green foliage shows close
affinity with A. elatum.
Allium nigrum "pink
form" received as
Allium 'auctum', the name is considered
synonymous with the European species
Allium nigrum. A wonderful, slow growing
species with beautiful, long-lasting lilac
pink flowers in late May to June.
All photos by Mark McDonough
Most photos taken April-May 2002 (unless noted
Links to "melanocrommyum"
Allium bulb sources
Paige Woodward's Pacific Rim
Nursery has many bulb photos, including
a good selection of Allium bulbs, all of which can be ordered on-line.
Odyssey Bulbs is a great source for a
large number of
bulbous plants. Check out the 2001 catalog now, although
I've been notified that the 2002 catalog (with pictures) will be posted in
couple of weeks (May 2002). A spring 2002 catalog is available now.
Lithuanian Rare Bulb Garden by Leonid Bondarenko
has an excellent
assortment of bulbs of many types. For most offerings, there's a thumbnail
image and a high-quality larger image. Click on the catalog link.
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page was last updated on 02/26/06