Allium 2010

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Cool stuff, Lori.  It seems my Alium "sikkimense" from NARGS seed is not. The pedicels seem too long. Any guesses, Mark? Flowers never opened more than what you see.

(Edited to say that Mark's preliminary ID is Alium sikkimense.)

I finally caught some native Allium tricoccum in seed.
#2 - early spring foliage
#3 - shall we just say an artsy photo of a seedhead?  Seeds are black, not blue.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

Cool stuff, Lori.  It seems my Alium "sikkimense" from NARGS seed is not. The pedicels seem too long. Any guesses, Mark? Flowers never opened more than what you see.

I finally caught some native Allium tricoccum in seed.
#2 - early spring foliage
#3 - shall we just say an artsy photo of a seedhead?  Seeds are black, not blue.

I'm guessing that you do have Allium sikkimense, it is quite variable, sometimes nodding heads, sometimes more upright as in your plant.  The flowers typically don't open widely, but I have found that the flowers can be puny, underdeveloped, and don't open as well as they should in very hot and dry weather... some of my Chinese Alliums look miserable this year, and I think I have lost A. mairei in the drought.

I'm glad you mentioned that the seeds on your artsy photo of A. tricoccum are indeed black instead of blue; I was starting to get excited there for a minute or two!

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Thanks Mark.  I'll see if they perform any differently next season...

We had our August "seedling" sale recently.  I picked up Allium nutans and Allium platycaule, grown from seed.  This sale is open to members and guests (not the public) and is priced more modestly for our members, rather than our real money maker in the spring that is open to the public.  Still, a member brought several Redbud seedlings from the cold hardy strain for up in the north, and another brought some Iseli conifers left over from her tech college sale.  Both bunches fetched good prices, and we made $600!  A record for our August sale.

This sale is always at a member's home, and touring her gardens, I spied an allium with very blue chive-like, very narrow foliage.  Stupid me, I didn't check to see if leaves were hollow. Inquiring as to its identity, she said "it has a poison in its name."  Thinking of cyanide, I mentioned cyaneum, and she said "yes, I think so."  Blooms were spent, but it may not have been very long since senescence, and the umbels were compact - similar to A. shoenoprasum (but perhaps larger, in total).  Is this consistent with Allium cyaneum?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

This sale is always at a member's home, and touring her gardens, I spied an allium with very blue chive-like, very narrow foliage.  Stupid me, I didn't check to see if leaves were hollow. Inquiring as to its identity, she said "it has a poison in its name."  Thinking of cyanide, I mentioned cyaneum, and she said "yes, I think so."  Blooms were spent, but it may not have been very long since senescence, and the umbels were compact - similar to A. shoenoprasum (but perhaps larger, in total).  Is this consistent with Allium cyaneum?

Doesn't sound like Allium cyaneum to me, that species has thread thin green leaves, not blue hued leaves.  However, many forms of chives, Allium schoenoprasum, do indeed have bluish hued leaves... most likely that's what it was.  I have no idea what "it has a poison in its name" could refer to, although posibly it is a misnamed item labeled as A. cyaneum as you surmised.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Some recent Alliums:

1.    Allium stellatum
2-4  Allium callimischon ssp. callimischon, from Antoine Hoog, 2001, one of the Brevispatha alliums that produce buds in an extremely narrow spathe barely differentiated from the stem, the dry looking stem popping open with fresh flowers in late summer or fall.
5-6  Allium hybrid that appeared a couple meters away from the probable parent, also a hybrid A. senescens type, shown growing in 100% crushed stone gravel in a "drip strip" under the roof eave overhang.  Short, nice full spherical flowers.
7-10  Allium 'Pink Pepper' - a dwarf type, like a miniature Allium senescens "glaucum" but with narrow swirling green leaves (not gray) and light pink hemispherical flowers on 4-6" (10-15 cm) stems in September, the flowers peppered with protruding stamens and yellow anthers.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Wow, it's been astounding to see the vast variety of garden-worthy Allium species, and to realize - even more than I already did - the extremely long bloom period one can achieve with the genus!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I repeat what Lori just said!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Yes, I used to shy away from onions, not realizing their allure.  When I first heard of you and your vast collection and knowledge, Mark, I thought: "Well, to each their own."

You're probably right about my mystery onion.  It very well could be a chive.  The flower heads, though dried when I saw them, do fit, too.  The reference to poison: "cyan" from cyanide (doh!).

I recall something about Allium stellatum seed heads that is supposed to be very different from other Allium species and is an easy identification marker.  Do you know what that might be?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

I recall something about Allium stellatum seed heads that is supposed to be very different from other Allium species and is an easy identification marker.  Do you know what that might be?

Some American Allium species have crested capsules, horn-like projections at the top of the capsules, pronounced in Allium cernuum and Allium stellatum, but particularly so in Allium stellatum.  Shown are 3 views of a deep pink late flowering forms of A. stellatum, with the inflorescences starting to go over and some capsules are developing.  In these deep pink forms, the fresh seed capsules are dark reddish colored initially, as are the pedicels.  In paler color forms, there is still a dark hue to the capsules, but not nearly as dark.  You can see in the last photo, how pronounced the crests are on the capsules.  On a totally dried inflorescence where color has dissipated, I would not attempt telling cernuum and stellatum apart, would need to see other plant characteristics and fresh flowers.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

This year was the hottest and driest in the last two decades, a brutal drought that provided for challenging conditions in the garden.  For the most part, the numerous rhizomatous Allium hybrids I grow still managed to put on a good show as they are quite drought tolerant, although the flowers went over quicker and looked lighter in color than in cooler years, and with more leaves senescing than normal.  I've put together some photos from previous years, in seasons more favorable to good growth and flowering.

1-2  Allium 'Sugar Melt' - one of my hybrids resulting from 'Pink Pepper', a dwarf autumn blooming plant, like a small green-leaved A. senescens glaucum, but with good pink flowers peppered with yellow anthers, the flowers on short stems.  In 'Sugar Melt', the plants grow taller, but still on the low side, at 14-16", with clear pink flowers in August.  I include a link to Plant Delights Nursery where this cultivar is available, although I must say, the image they used is rather poor; my photos give a better impression of what this one looks like.
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Plants/Genus/Allium

3-4  These photos represent a type of Allium nutans/senescens hybrids that I've been getting, what I call the pincushion types, with flowers so densely packed, and stamens well exserted, the flower balls quite literally look like pin cushions.

5  Allium garden view, with a pincushion type hybrid, Allium 'Stellar Dust' in the top center of the view.  August blooming.

6  Close-up view of Allium 'Stellar Dust'

7-9 Allium 'Meteor Shower' - one of my newer selections, has a distinctive look, with low broad hemispheres of bloom, the individual florets spaced apart from each other, each floret with a lighter tip.  August blooming.

10  Allium 'Asteroids', another recent selection, with 2' tall (or taller) stems, and largish balls of tightly packed lavender pink flowers, each floret like a small crater.  August blooming.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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