STAR-OF-PERSIA

Allium cristophii

Onion & Garlic Family [Alliaceae]
Formerly in: Lily Family [Liliaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZalien
flower
flower8mauve
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ6
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZglobed
stem
stem8round

16th June 2010, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Grows tall, up to 4 feet, with a globed multiple-flower head atop each stiff round stem.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Each flower in the globular head is strikingly sharply star-like with a green centre.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have six narrow sword-like mauve-coloured petals.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Un-opened flowers are long and narrow without green bracts. The flower stalk is up to three inches long, all radiating out from a hidden central area.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
At the centre of each flower a latent light-green three-lobed seed pod resides, with six purple stamens radiating outwards, plus a seventh central one pointing upwards. These stamens have all lost the anthers which bore pollen.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
There may be one prominent flower sticking proud of the majority with several stamens still bearing anthers with charcoal-grey pollen.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stamens bearing charcoal-grey pollen.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The stamens (without anthers) radiating from the three-lobed six-segment seed-bearing pod. Note the central anther pointing straight at you.


16th June 2010, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The flower-head all gone to seed.


16th June 2010, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Greener pods. The straw-coloured spikes are the remnants of the anthers.


15th June 2010, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
There are no stem leaves, just a basal rosette of U-shaped cross-section, light-green, long linear leaves bearing longish white hairs on the under-surface.


Some similarities to : Wild Leek, Garden Leek and to Round-Headed Leek, which have a similar large spherical radial array of purple or mauve-coloured flowers arranged in a globe atop a long stem, but the individual flowers of Star of Persia have six long and narrow petals arranged strikingly into a star, there being dozens of these stars on long stalks arranged spherically like a WWII mine. Whereas the flowers of the Leeks, although arranged spherically similarly, have less-open and more bell-shaped flowers.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Star-of-Bethlehem [a plant with similar name].

Much more likely to be found in a garden environment than growing in the wild.

Like many, but not all, members of the Garlic & Onion Family, it has a globular head bearing many flowers.


  Allium cristophii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Alliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Onion & Garlic family8Alliaceae
BSBI maps
genus8Allium
Allium
(Onions)

STAR-OF-PERSIA

Allium cristophii

Onion & Garlic Family [Alliaceae]
Formerly in: Lily Family [Liliaceae]

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