Many-Flowered Garlic – A Potential Perennial Leek

Lately I’ve been looking at a number of different edible perennial alliums and I’ve came across one which has piqued my interest.

The Many-Flowered Garlic isn’t a variety that springs readily to mind when talking about edible alliums.  An internet search isn’t going to bring up much information about eating it and even Plant For A Future make no mention of it but I came across a couple of tantalising snippets which made me think that this could be a contender for a perennial leek.

I came across a few images of the plants such as this one on wikimedia

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Now does that look like a leek or what.

Wikipedia says

Allium polyanthum, called the many-flowered garlic, is a Mediterranean species of wild onion native to Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia.  It is widely cultivated for its edible and potently aromatic bulbs and foliage.

So it is gown to eat.  Other images and photos show the bulb forming small bulblets – so like Babingtons and Elephant garlic it could be clump forming.

This was more than enough to spark my imagination.  Something that looked like a leek, grew bulblets and is grown to eat – could this be another variety or perennial leek? Alas I could find no more information.

Then I had an idea.  I typed perennial leek into google translate and changed it to French “poireau vivace”.  Googling this gave me some links but it turned out most of them were talking about Allium ampeloprasum  i.e. Babingtons Leek or Elephant Garlic.

It did, however, throw up another phrase “Poireau perpétuel” – perpetual leeks.  This led me to This french site (through google translate)  which does show that Allium Polyanthum is used as a perennial leek.

 

Now to source some seed for it and I’m away

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