Allium flavum ssp. tauricum 

Every year I like to see what new colors and pastel shades emerge from seedlings of Allium flavum ssp. tauricum,
the Turkish form of the familiar European Allium flavum.  Of course, the color forms in my garden were generated
over a period of a couple decades, with some possible influence by hybridization with allied species, such as
Allium kurtzianum (A. olympicum of Hort.) and possibly even A. carinatum ssp. pulchellum and A. paniculatum.
In the image below, at the lower left, is a particularly bright pink-red seedling that showed up in 2006.  All of
the photographs below were taken at the end of the first week of July, 2007.

I grow Allium flavum ssp. tauricum in raised sand beds, with a bit of humus mixed in.  They must not be mulched
with any sort of organic mulch, which promotes rot, instead the beds can be left exposed, or mulch with gravel. In
the overall view below, is one of several raised sand beds full of colorful "tauricums". Most grow only 8-9" tall, so
they are excellent subjects for the sunny rock garden.  Going dormant after flowering for about 6 weeks, the
foliage re-emerges in late August and September, remaining evergreen through the winter.

I'm partial to some of the pastel colored sorts, like this grouping of tan-colored plants shown below.  Not 
showy from a distance, but up close it is wonderful to see flowers with such unusual colors.  The silvery
stems compliment the pastel flowers.



There are so many colors and hues to select from.  Here are some flowering in a couple shades of orange,

a most welcome color that is rare within the genus.  The plants in the lower right represent a particularly
dwarf, gregarious, clumping type that would be worthy of naming and introduction.




Photos by Mark McDonough

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This page was last updated on 09/08/07