To the decorative
The genus in which garlic is included, the aromatic plant widely used in cooking, also includes onions, leeks, shallots; many do not know that in addition to these mainly culinary uses there are dozens of varieties of garlic, which do not produce particularly interesting bulbs in the kitchen, but in the spring they amaze us with incredible blooms. In fact, the flower of garlic, allium sativum, is also very pleasant and ornamental, as well as that of chives, allium schoenoprasum. Certainly, however, the flowers of the ornamental ai are definitely more beautiful and decorative.
About five hundred species and varieties of plants belong to the genus allium, widespread mainly in Europe and Asia; these are bulbous plants, therefore they all produce an enlarged, squat underground stem, in which they store the nutrients, year after year. The allium bulbs are of variable size, depending on the species, and range from a few centimeters in diameter up to 15-20 cm in the largest species. In spring they produce thin elongated, flattened or cylindrical leaves, fleshy, erect, 25 to 125 cm high; the allium leaves are very aromatic, and if wrinkled they give off the typical aroma of chives. In summer, when the foliage begins to dry up, the plant produces thin stems that at the apex carry globular or umbrella-like inflorescences, consisting of many small white, pink, lilac, blue, purple or blue flowers.
The inflorescences of garlic are very particular, and range from small flowers no more than 2-3 cm wide, as in the case of chives, to large balls of Allium giganteum flowers, which can measure 15-20 cm in size. diameter. After flowering, which lasts a few weeks, the plant dries up, until it completely loses the aerial part, which will reappear the following spring.