Allium robustum  (ID pending)

Allium robustum - closeup view  (ID to be verified)    copyright  2002 Mark McDonough

 Allium robustum is somewhat an enigma.  I've long awaited
to receive the true plant, and finally have bulbs in bloom that
bear this name from a reputable source.  But I'm still
undecided, as the plants fail to meet specific characteristics
 reported in the few floras that cover the species. After ordering
 and growing 3 bulbs (they're not cheap!), three distinctly different
plant forms have resulted.

The best of the 3 is this one, with deep red-purple flowers
in a compact head, atop a 26" (65 cm) tall stem, above 2-3
linear grayish leaves, 2" wide x 8-12" long (5 cm wide x 20-30
cm long). The leaf width is far greater than described for the
species, which is a mere 2-10 mm wide, so this plant is 
about 5x the leaf width attributed to the species.

The 2nd bulb, looks similar, except the stem is only 12"
(30 cm) tall, with a smaller head of lighter rose flowers.  The
3rd bulb is most definitely a hybrid... appearing intermediate
between this species and perhaps karataviense, with a
single blue-gray leaf up to 3" (7.5 cm) broad like a thinned-
out karataviense, and an 18" stem and deep rose flowers.

Given that the plants in cultivation derive from seedling-
grown nursery stock (originally from Central Asia), I must
conclude that hybridization has been at work here.

 Allium robustum - closeup view  (ID to be verified)    copyright  2002 Mark McDonough

Photos by Mark McDonough
(taken May 2002)

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This page was last updated on 05/21/02