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The wonderful world of Edimentalliums!

 
Stephen Barstow
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Location: Malvik, Norway
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Edimentalliums! Edible and Ornamental Alliums. I just managed to transfer almost 500 of my perennial onion (Allium) pictures from FB to this site, so thought I'd share them here. Just look at the diversity of forms and all are edible, although some are better than others: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=723
My favourite 19 are described in the book!!
 
Vida Norris
Posts: 114
Location: Ontario Canada, Zone 5b
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Whoa! I was just thinking today how I wish I had lots of different onions in my garden and voila here you are with perennial onions! Even better!! Looking through the gallery - these are fantastic. The douglas onion looks really cool.

This is probably a given but do you describe in the book the growing conditions for your favorite 19 aliums? ie. will they grow in my cold Canadian garden! Also, is the whole plant edible or just certain parts?

Great pictures Stephen! Thanks for sharing

 
Stephen Barstow
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Location: Malvik, Norway
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Yes, you can get a very good idea of hardiness and growing conditions (full sun, forest garden etc.) in the book. I also describe the wild geographical range which gives a good indication. How well a plant will do in your climate depends on many factors I don't like plant hardiness zones which are more appropriate for trees and shrubs (i.e., plants exposed to the air all winter). Most important is snow cover. I live in a place without stable snow cover and it sometimes doesn't go above zero for 2-3 months in winter (night and day) with little snow cover so that the soil is frozen right down to the bedrock for this time. However, the absolute minimum air temperature doesn't fall below about -23C. I assume your air temperatures are colder but that you have more stable snow cover.
As a minimum, North American species like Allium cernuum and Siberians such as Allium nutans, senescens and fistulosum will do well for you.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Stephen, do you go more into depth about your growing conditions in your book? We also have undependable snow these days. So sad but no snow is changing our environment and we would like to adapt but I am still pretty inexperienced.
Jennifer
 
Stephen Barstow
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Location: Malvik, Norway
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Yes, I talk about this in some depth in the introduction...
 
Rob Read
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Location: Poplar Hill, Ontario (near London) - Zone 6a
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Stephen: the depth of your research is staggering! I can't wait to read the book.

I'm in Canada as well (and rest-assured, Egyptian/Walking onions survive easily). One difficulty when trying to assemble a collection of various Alliums is that because many are propagated by bulbs, they are not always legally traded across national borders.

That said, this can be a good thing. I recently learned that there is a Leek Moth that is playing havoc with Allium family plants. It has recently been introduced to my region, and from talking to a friend, those afflicted by the moth have this to look forward to:

1. First stage, adult moth lays eggs on green onion. Larva devour much of the top of the onion before pupating.
2. Stage two, the second adults of the season lay eggs lower down on the plant, and the larva of this cycle devour the bulb.

It sounds very frightening, since it effects Egyptian Onions, and one would guess, perhaps all alliums.

Has anyone witnessed this scourge? Any alliums known to be resistant to these moths? Any techniques to protect favourites Alliums? (Other than hiding your onions amongst other plants in polycultures.) Should we be looking for aromatic pest confusers for our aromatic pest confusers?
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