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Allium siculum (Sicilian honey garlic)

Sicilian honey garlic has attractive bell-shaped flowers, but don't be fooled by its beauty - like most members of its genus and subfamily it has an unpleasant smell when bruised.
Flowers of Alium siculum

Allium siculum (Photo: Leo Michels)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Allium siculum Ucria

Common name: 

Sicilian honey garlic

Conservation status: 

Not known to be threatened.

Habitat: 

Damp woods and fields among rocks.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

Avoided by grazing animals, because of its acrid, garlicky smell and presumably bad taste.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Amaryllidaceae
Genus: Allium

About this species

The familiar culinary plants, onions, leeks, garlic and chives, are all members of the genus Allium, which comprises approximately 750 species. Allium siculum is a bulbous plant with narrow leaves and a tall, straight stem with an umbel of hanging, bell-shaped flowers.

The narrow, fleshy leaves of A. siculum emerge in late winter or early spring. The flowering stems appear in May and June, as the leaves die down. The stem emerges from a loose, sheathing leaf, with the flowers enclosed in a pair of green, spathe-like bracts. When this splits, the flowers hang downwards, like small, stiff bells, with glistening nectar inside.

Synonym: 

Nectaroscordum siculum, Trigonea sicula, Nothoscordum siculum

Genus: 
Allium

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