General description:- Perennial herbs, often with bulbs, corms, rhizomes or
tuberous roots; sometimes climbers, rarely annuals or small shrubs.

Flowers:- Usually in a spike-like inflorescence in which the individual flowers are
stalked (racemes) or in branched racemose inflorescence (panicles), more rarely
solitary or in cymes or umbels, regular or slightly irregular (zygomorphic), usually
having both male and female organs in the same flower (hermaphrodite). Perianth of
two whorls, each of (2-)3(-5) usually petaloid segments, free or variously united
(connate). Stamens usually as many as perianth-segments, free or connate. Ovary
with 3 compartments (3-locular), superior (very rarely 1-locular or semi-inferior);
styles 1 or 3(-5).

Fruit:- Capsule or a berry. The ripe capsule splitting into the cells along the midrib
or dorsal suture (loculicidal) or splitting along the lines of junction of the carpels, i.e.
along the septa, the fruit valves remaining attached and not falling off (septicidal)

Genus:- ALLIUM Including:-
Sects ALLIUM, CODONOPRASUM, MELANOCROMMYUM, MOLIUM,
SCHOENOPRASUM, SCORODON.

Genus description:- Perennial, With a leafless stem bearing flowers (scapose),
bulbous herbs, usually with a distinctive smell of onion or garlic.

Bulbs:- Solitary or clustered, composed of one to several storage scales, usually
with sheathing of concentric layers (tunicate).

Leaves:- Slender and parallel-sided (filiform) to broad and rounded at the base and
tapering toward the end (ovate), with sheathing at the base.

Flowers:- In a terminal umbel at first totally enclosed within a spathe. Pedicels
often with bracteoles at base. Perianth-segments persistent, free or slightly joined
(connate) at base, 1- to 3-veined. Stamens free or connate at the base into a ring
(annulus), inserted at base of perianth-segments and sometimes attached (adnate)
to their base; anthers attached between the base and apex of the filament
(dorsifixed), opening inwards, towards the centre of the flower (introrse). Style 
apparently rising from the base of the ovary (gynobasic); stigmas entire or shortly 3-
lobed.

Fruit:- A membranous capsule; seeds 1-2, rarely more, in each compartment
(loculus), usually with three sharp angles (triquetrous) or compressed, rarely globe-
like (globose), black.

Key features:-
1) Ovary superior.
2) Perianth-segments free, usually 1-veined, usually all alike and without a claw.
3) Plant usually with onion-like smell when bruised.
4) Style gynobasic.

Sect. ALLIUM

Bulbs:- Ovoid or subglobose; not rhizomatous.

Stem:- Usually circular in cross section (terete).

Leaves:- Linear, flat or tubular (fistular), sheathing the lower 1/4 or more of the
stem.

Flower:- Spathe 1- or 2-valved, usually beaked and falling off early (caducous).
Perianth cylindrical, bell-shaped (campanulate) or ovoid, with permanently
separated at the base but come together (but are lot fused) distally (connivent)
segments. Stamens usually with two different shapes (dimorphic), the outer 3
usually simple, rarely toothed or with three short sharp points (tricuspidate), the
inner 3 always tricuspidate with a broad flat basal lamina topped by a central
anther-bearing cusp and two (rarely 4) sterile, usually much elongated cusps. Ovary
with distinct nectariferous pores; ovules 2 in each loculus; stigma entire.

Fruit :- Seeds angular.

Sect. CODONOPRASUM

Bulbs:- Ovoid; not rhizomatous.

Stem:- Circular in cross section (terete).

Leaves:- Sheathing up to 2/3 of the stem.

Flower:- Spathe 2-valved, the valves unequal, each with an ovate or lance-shaped,
usually strongly veined base, narrowed above into a tail-like appendage, longer than
the stems (pedicels). Perianth cup-shaped, bell-shaped (campanulate),  funnel-
shaped (infundibuliform), cylindrical or obovoid, never star-shaped (stellate).
Stamens simple. Ovary with or without minute inconspicuous nectariferous pores;
ovules 2 in each compartment (loculus). Stigma entire.

Fruit:- Seeds angular.

Sect. MELANOCROMMYUM

Bulbs:- Almost globular, but flattened at the ends of the axis (subglobose) or
broadly ovoid; not rhizomatous.

Stem:- Usually longer than leaves, terete.

Leaves:- Basal, with no above-ground sheath.

Flower:- Spathe shorter than stems (pedicels), becoming 2- to 4-fid, persistent.
Perianth usually star-shaped (stellate), with segments ultimately deflexed. Stamens
simple. Ovary with 4-8 ovules in each compartment (loculus); stigma entire.

Fruit:- Seeds angular.

Sect. MOLIUM

Bulbs:- Ovoid or almost globular, but flattened at the ends of the axis (subglobose)
not rhizomatous.

Stem:- Circular in cross section (terete) or angled. 

Leaves:- Almost basal, with short above-ground sheath, flat.

Flower:- Spathe shorter than or equalling stems (pedicels). Perianth star-shaped
(stellate) to bell-shaped (campanulate) or cylindrical. Ovary with distinct
nectariferous pores; ovules 2 in each compartment (loculus); stigma entire.

Fruit:- Seeds angular.

Sect. SCHOENOPRASUM

Bulbs cylindrical or very narrowly conical, on a short rhizome. Stems terete. Leaves
almost basal or sheathing the lower 1/4-1/3 of the stem, cylindrical, fistular. Spathe
equalling or shorter than pedicels, which are without bracteoles at base. Perianth
campanulate. Stamens simple. Ovary with deep, rounded nectariferous pits; ovules
2 in each loculus; stigma entire. Seeds angular

Sect. SCORODON

Bulbs:- Ovoid or subglobose; not rhizomatous.

Stem:- Terete.

Leaves:- Sheathing the lower of the stem, usually filiform. Spathe usually shorter
than the pedicels. Perianth tubular to stellate. Stamens simple or the inner
sometimes with 2 short basal teeth. Ovary with distinct nectariferous pores; ovules
2 in each loculus. Stigma entire.

Fruit:- Seeds angular.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ALLIACEAE