Family: Onion & Garlic [Alliaceae]


Agapanthus

Allium

Amaryllis

Crinum

Leucojum

Narcissus

Nectaroscordum

Nerine

Nothoscordum

Pancratium

Sternbergia

Tristagma

Triteleia

The Allium Genus in this Family was formerly in the Lily Family (Liliaceae).

The following Families have been subsumed into this, the Onion & Garlic (Alliaceae) Family:

  • African-Lily Family (Agapanthaceae Family)
  • Jersey-Lily Family (Amaryllidaceae Family)
This has tripled the number of Genera under the Onion Family umbrella.



[ALLIUM] Onions

BULBILS, STAMENS & STEMS in ALLIUM
PLANTFLOWERS ONLYFLOWERS & BULBILSBULBILS ONLYSTAMENS PROTRUDESTEM SHAPE
Ramsons
3-cornered Garlic
Neapolitan Garlic
Hairy Garlic
Crow Garlic✓ (rarely)
Field Garlic✓ (rarely)
Chives
Round-headed Leek
Sand Leek✓ (rarely)
Garden Leek
Wild Leek
Rosy Garlic
Keeled Garlic
Honey Garlic
Few-flowered Garlic
Garlic
Onion

Many, but by no means all of the Allium species, have triangular cross-section flower stems and keeled or chevron-shaped leaves.

Ramsons. (Allium ursinum) Photo: © RWD

Neapolitan Garlic (Allium neapolitanum) Photo: © RWD

Three-Cornered Garlic (Allium triquetrum) Photo: © RWD

Few-Flowered Garlic (Allium paradoxum) Photo: © RWD

Field Garlic (Allium oleraceum) Photo: © RWD

Crow Garlic (Allium vineale) Photo: © RWD

Sand Leek (Allium scorodoprasum) Photo: © RWD

Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum) Photo: © RWD

Keeled Garlic (Allium carinatum) Photo: © RWD

Round-Headed Leek (Allium sphaerocephalon) Photo: © RWD

Leek (aka Garden Leek) (Allium porrum) Photo: © Elizabeth Whatmough

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Photo: © RWD

Star-of-Persia (Allium cristophii) Photo: © RWD



[AGAPANTHUS] African Lily

African Lily (Agapanthus praecox) Photo: © RWD



[NARCISSUS] Daffodils

 

DAFFODIL HYBRID CHART (shrunk)
Hybrid Chart: DAFFODIL (larger)

Narcissus SPECIES LACKING HYBRIDS
(Narcissus agg.) Cultivated Daffodil
(Narcissus bicolor) Two-coloured Daffodil
(Narcissus bulbocodium) Hoop-petticoat Daffodil
(Narcissus minor) Lesser Daffodil
(Narcissus nobilis) Large-flowered Daffodil
(Narcissus obvallaris) Tenby Daffodil
(Narcissus papyraceus) Paper-white Daffodil
(Narcissus poeticus s.l.) Pheasant's Eye Daffodil
(Narcissus radiiflorus) Pheasant's-eye Daffodil
(Narcissus triandrus) Angel's-tears

Several members of the former Amaryllidaceae Family (former Daffodil Family) (as well as the former Hyacinth Family) contain allergenic lactones: tuliposides and tulipalins, which the plants use as natural fungicides. Tulips especially contain these compounds, and to a lesser extent so do Narcissus: Narcissus, Jonquils and Daffodils. Physical contact with the bulbs (especially) or the leaves and flowers can cause an allergic dermatitis called 'Lily Rash' or 'Tulip Finger' as many florists or gardeners have found to their cost. Dog-Tooth Violets also contain such compounds. [N.B. it may be called 'Lily rash, but these Narcissus plants do not belong to the 'Lily' family, but to this, the former Daffodil Family].

There are a huge number of differing Daffodils.

Use the BSBI website to identify Daffodils

Over 100 biologically active alkaloids have been isolated from members of the former Daffodil (Amaryllidaceae) Family, the most famous of which is Galantamine, (Nivalin®) first isolated from some species of Galanthus (Snowdrop), but now separated from commercially grown species of Daffodil. For Galantamine, see Wild Daffodil.

Pheasant's Eye (Narcissus poeticus) Photo: © RWD

Wild Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) Photo: © RWD



[GALANTHUS] Snowdrops

[Galanthus]
SNOWDROP HYBRID CHART
[Galanthus]
SNOWDROP
HYBRIDS
BSBI MAPS
Greater
Snowdrop

(elwesii)
Green
Snowdrop

(ikariae)
Snowdrop
(nivalis)
Pleated
Scowdrop

(plicatus)
Greater
Snowdrop

(elwesii)
Caucasian Snowdrop
(elwesii var. monostictus)
  elwesii × nivalis elwesii × plicatus
Green
Snowdrop

(ikariae)
  ikariae
+
woronowii
   
Snowdrop
(nivalis)
elwesii × nivalis   nivalis × plicatus
Pleated
Snowdrop

(plicatus)
elwesii × plicatus   nivalis × plicatus ssp plicatus
+
ssp byzantinus

N.B. Due to the symmetrical nature of the chart, each hybrid appears twice, apart from sub-species which are in light-blue.

Greater Snowdrop is sometimes known as Giant Snowdrop; Pleated Snowdrop as Crimean Snowdrop.

Of particular note is that there are actually three Snowdrop species with the same common name: Pleated Snowdrop. The first is Galanthus plicatus itself. The other two are subspecies: Galanthus plicatus subsp. plicatus and Galanthus plicatus subsp. byzantinus. All those that are not hybrids (and are either sub-species or variations) are shown within light-blue boxes.

As a name for Caucasian Snowdrop, Galanthuis caucasicus is ambiguous, for there are two Snowdrops to which it applies: One is Alpine Snowdrop Galanthus alpinus (which is very rare, and not local to the UK), and Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus which presumably is extant within the UK.

There also seem to be two species of Green Snowdrop: Galanthuis ikariae and Galanthuis woronowii, the differences being in the size of the green markings on the inner three tepals.

None of the other hybrids shown have any common names.

Galanthus SPECIES LACKING HYBRIDS
(Galanthus regina) Queen-Olgas Snowdrop

Green Snowdrop (Galanthus woronowii) Photo: © RWD

Caucasian Snowdrop (Galanthus caucasicus) Photo: © David Kikodze

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) Photo: © RWD



[LEUCOJUM] Snowflakes

Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) Photo: © Dave Redfern

Family: Onion & Garlic [Alliaceae]

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