Allium siculum

Allium siculum (syn. Nectaroscordum siculum) is often confused with a very similar species A. bulgaricum. In cultivation it is reported that whatever distinction these two species have, they integrate readily, and most bulbs or plants offered for sale are hybrids between the two. At any rate, these are intriguing, easy-to-grow plants, well worth cultivating. The large, waxy, bell-shaped flowers are produced in May to early June atop 3' (1 meter) stems, the florets suspended on long drooping pedicels, adding to the charm of the quaintly hued blooms. Here are 3 views of this unusual plant. Notice in the 3rd photo, that the foliage is instantly recognizable, being triangular in cross-section and strongly twisting along the length of the ascending leaves, as if sculpted of wrought iron. Photos by Mark McDonough.

Allium siculum, Mark McDonoughAllium siculum, Mark McDonoughAllium siculum, Mark McDonough

Allium siculum ssp. disoscoridis (syn. Nectaroscordum meliophilum) from the Saint Petersburg Botanic Garden, said to have originally been from Crimea. The outside of the tepals are dark brownish-olive-rose color with white flared tips, eventually opening into lovely white bells softly tinged olive and dull rose on the outside. Some flowers have 7-8 tepals instead of the normal 6. It is 24" (60 cm) tall in bloom. The first three photos were taken by Mark McDonough, taken May 25, 2003 showing order of flower development. The last two photos were taken by Alessandro Marinello.

Allium siculum ssp. disoscoridis, Mark McDonoughAllium siculum ssp. disoscoridis, Mark McDonoughAllium siculum ssp. disoscoridis, Mark McDonoughAllium siculum ssp. disoscoridis, Alessandro MarinelloAllium siculum ssp. disoscoridis, Alessandro Marinello

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