Allium sieheanum - cluster head form

Allium sieheanum - dense head form    copyright  2000 Mark McDonough

Plants resulting from bulbs and seeds collected by the MacPhail

& Watson expedition to Turkey in the late 1970s, were originally identified as Allium tchaihatchewii (sic. for A. tchihatschewii). 

Using Davis's key in the Flora of Turkey, the plants key out to

A. sieheanum.  Rather puzzling however, are the two forms of

this desirable species, one with densely capitate heads of tightly closed, orbicular flowers (shown above), and another form with

loose, open heads of bloom, but with the exact same grape-like

florets (shown 2 photos below). One seedling plant appeared
intermediate between the cluster-head form and the loose-head
form, which is shown in the photo below.

[ detailed B&W line drawing of full plant and bulb ]


Allium sieheanum - intermediate form

Allium sieheanum -  intermediate form    copyright  2000 Mark McDonough

One seedling plant appeared perfectly intermediate between
the two forms, having dense, many-flowered heads, but with
the elongated drooping pedicels.  Unfortunately, all of these
beautiful forms eventually died out, probably as much due to
neglect and moving my place of residence three times, as to
the fussiness of the plant in cultivation.


Allium sieheanum - loose head form

Allium sieheanum - loose head form    copyright  2000 Mark McDonough

The loose-headed forms are not as striking as the cluster-
headed types, but they're small and charming nonetheless.
Superficially these look like the familiar A. pulchellum
with the long drooping pedicels, but clearly the low stature
(6" - 8", 15 - 20 cm), the tightly closed orbicular flowers,
and a number of other differences set this species apart
from pulchellum.


Allium sieheanum - foliage

Allium sieheanum - plants   copyright  2000 Mark McDonough

The plant growth on A. sieheanum is most appealing, with
gracefully arching falcate leaves and goose-neck buds.
These two plants seem incredibly synchronized!


Photos by Mark McDonough


[ more photos at the Allium sieheanum - Gallery ]
[ detailed B&W line drawing - full plant and bulb ]


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Images and textual content copyright 2000 Mark McDonough

This page was last updated on 02/28/01