SPECIES DESCRIPTION
 
ALLIUM CYRILLI

Family:- ALLIACEAE/Sect. MELANOCROMMYUM

Common name:- None

Synonyms:- Allium nigrum var. cyrilli, Caloscordum cyrilli.

Meaning:- Allium (L) The ancient Latin name for garlic.
                  Cyrilli (L) For Dominica Cyrillo (1734-99), professor of medicine at Naples.

General description:- Medium to tall bulbous perennial.

Bulbs:-
   a) up to 5 cm in diam.
   b) Ovoid.
   c) with membranous tunics.

Stems:-
   a) 50-80 cm.
   b) robust.

Leaves:-
   a) 3-5, 2-4 x 20-30 cm.
   b) all basal, broadly linear.

Flowers:-
1) Umbel:
   a) broadly obconical.
   b) flat-topped.
   c) dense and many-flowered.
2) Spathe:
   a) 2- or 3-valved.
   b) papery.
   c) shorter than the pedicels.

3) Perianth segments:
   a) broadly linear.
   b)   canaliculate, acute, with incurved tips, finally deflexed.
   c) greenish-white or purplish.
4) Filaments:
   a) flat, triangular, broader than the perianth segments at the base.
5) Ovary:
   a) purplish-black when young, later green.
   b) angular-subglobose, smooth.

Fruit:- Capsule c. 5 mm.

Key features:-
1)
Stem 50-90 cm.
2) Leaves much shorter than the stem, up to 80 mm wide.
3) Perianth-segments 1-15 mm wide, broadly linear, acuminate, with the apex incurved at anthesis.
4) Filaments narrowly triangular, 15-25 mm wide at the base, gradually narrowed above.


Habitat:- Cultivated and fallow fields, vineyards, olive groves, rarely in semi-natural habitats.

Distribution:- Scattered in mainland Greece and the Aegean. Turkey-in-Europe
and W. Anatolia, local in S. Italy. Limited distribution and rare on Crete.

Flowering time:- Apr to early June.

A member of the A. nigrum group (A. sect. Melanocrommyum), growing in the

same habitat as A. nigrum and sometimes together with it, but usually distinct in
floral characters.

Photos by:- Christodoulos Makris and Steve Lenton