'Luk Altaiskii' Altai Onion
'Luk Altaiskii' Altai Onion

'Luk Altaiskii' Altai Onion

Regular price $4.25 Sale

Allium altaicum

Origin: Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Russia

Improvement status: Wild

Seeds per packet: ~60


Life cycle: Perennial

Altai onion is an extremely cold-hardy scallion-type wild onion with thick tubular leaves, spicy flavor, and excellent taste. Native to southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, it's believed to be the ancestor of domesticated bunching onions (Allium fistulosum). Bees flock to the pretty flowers. 

This species is not only good for eating but a potent medicinal as well, including for reproductive and urinary health, and as an antifungal agent, anti-inflammatory, digestive stimulant, appetite stimulant, sleep aid, and immune system tonic. Should not be used by people suffering from gastritis, ulcers, or kidney stones. Good dietary source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, along with potassium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, sodium, and iron. Phytoncides are believed to give it its antimicrobial qualities.

GROWING TIPS: Start seeds as soon as possible and keep in a sunny window until it's time to plant out (Allium seeds are notoriouly short-lived). Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Succeeds in moist and acid soils. Keep well weeded. Grows well with most plants, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. Deer should leave it alone. Hardy to Zone 3 or 4.

NOTE: Close-up photo of flowers is by Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova, and used here under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 license. Main photo is in the public domain, showing a planting at the Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Garden.