Allium galanthum Kar. et Kir. - Snowdrop onion.

Taxonomic position.

Family Alliaceae J.Agardh genus Allium L.


A. pseudocepa Schrenk.

Morphology and biology.

Herbaceous, perennial, bulbous plant. Attached to rhizome in groups, bulbs are conical-cylindrical with thin-skinned, un-split, red-brown tunics. Stem is vigorous, 20-50 cm tall, solid, gradually tapering towards the top, clad in smooth leaf sheaths at the bottom. Leaves are 2-(3) in number, cylindrical, gradually tapered towards the top, fistular, 3-10 mm wide, 1-2 times shorter than the stem. Umbel is hemispheric or, more frequently, globular, polyanthous, more or less dense. Tepals are white with a barely visible vein, 4-5 mm long, equal in size, oblong, obtuse. Filaments are scarcely longer than the perianth. Blossoms in July. Entomophilous. Propagated by seeds and bulbs. 2n=16.


Middle Asia (Near-Balkhash, Dzungarian-Tarbagatai, Tien Shan regions); Northwestern China (Xinjiang).


Grows on gravelly and stony slopes from the low mountains to the middle mountain zone.

Utilization and economic value.

For food (vegetable) and as a source of vitamins. It is an excellent table onion, readily gathered by the local population.

Reference Citations:

Brezhnev D.D., Korovina O.N. 1981. Wild relatives of cultivated plants in the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos: 98 (In Russian)
Vvedensky, A.I. 1935. Onion - Allium L. Flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences. V.4: 197. (In Russian)

© I.G. Chukhina, T.A. Sinitsyna.


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