Sunday 28 April 2013

New species of Onion from Kyrgyzstan.

Plants in the genus Allium are found throughout temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, with a few species from Africa and South America. The genus includes a number of important food plants, including Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Chives and Shallots. The number of species in the genus is disputed, but there are probably around 750 valid described forms.

In a paper published in the journal Phytokeys on 2 April 2013, Alexander Sennikov of the Botanical Museum at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Georgy Lazkov of the Institute of Biology and Soil Science at the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, describe a new species of Allium from the Kara-Köl River valley in the Babash-Ata Mountain Range of southwest Kyrgyzstan.

The new species is named Allium formosum, meaning the Beautiful Onion. It is a 30 cm high plant producing 7-8 mm diameter bulbs and white flowers. Its closest relative is thought to be Allium spathulatum, another species known only from Kyrgyzstan, which was discovered in 1998.

Allium formosum. Sennikov & Lazkov (2013).

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