Allium subvillosum

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Asparagaceae

Allium subvillosum

Allium subvillosum is an attractive plant, but to appreciate its true beauty you need to get close up and personal because it has such tiny flowers.

Identification

A relative of Wild Garlic (also known as Ramsons), Allium subvillosum has dense umbels each with 15 to 20 white flowers that are deeply cupped and have yellow anthers. This bulb-forming perennial grows up to 30cm tall, and its long narrow leaves are covered with long white hairs.

Allium subvillosum was until recently classified as a member of the Lily family (Liliaceae), but recent taxonomic revisions now place it in the family Asparagaceae.

Distribution

These spring wildflowers are found in southern Spain and Portugal, Sicily, North Africa and the Balearics.

Habitat

This coastal plant of the Mediterranean region can be found in both sandy and grassy places close to the sea.

Blooming Times

Allium subvillosum blooms very early in the year. The specimens shown on this page were photographed in the Algarve region of Portugal in late February.

Etymology

Allium is the Latin word for garlic, while the specific epithet subvillosum comes from sub- meaning somewhat or slightly, and -villosum meaning covered in soft hairs.


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