Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Except for a few religious or geographically isolated cultures, all of the world's peoples eat representatives of the Alliums. The most well known are the bulb onion, potato onion, and shallot (all Allium cepa); garlic (Allium sativum); leek (A. ampeloprasum var. porrum) and chive (A. schoenoprasum). Many other Alliums are cultivated in specific areas of the world or by specific cultures and are less commonly known, e.g., the top-setting onion (A. x proliferum), Chinese chive (A. tuberosum), great-headed or elephant garlic (A. ampeloprasum var. holmense), kurrat (A. ampeloprasum var. kurrat), the French grey shallot (possibly A. oschaninii), and the Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum). Also throughout the world, many locally cultivated or collected Alliums are consumed (e.g. A. nutans, A. ursinum, or A. oschaninii). Ornamental Alliums are economically important, the main examples being A. aflatunense, A. caesium, or A. giganteum. New cultivated types of ornamental Alliums are appearing, e.g. A. schubertii or A. unifolium, and may become economically important. New asexually propagated Allium crops may reach economically significant sales, such as an interspecific hybrid between the bulb onion and garlic.