Allium siculum (syn. Nectaroscordum siculum), known as honey garlic,[4] Sicilian honey lily, Sicilian honey garlic, or Mediterranean bells, is a European and Turkish species of plant in the genus Allium. It is native to the regions around the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and grown in other regions as an ornamental and as a culinary herb.[1]

Honey garlic
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Subgenus: A. subg. Nectaroscordum
A. siculum
Binomial name
Allium siculum
  • Allium bulgaricum (Janka) Prodán
  • Nectaroscordum siculum (Ucria) Lindl.
  • Nothoscordum siculum (Ucria) auct., published anonymously
  • Trigonea sicula (Ucria) Parl.
  • Nectaroscordum bulgaricum Janka
  • Allium meliophilum Juz.
  • Nectaroscordum meliophilum (Juz.) Stank.
  • Allium dioscoridis Sm.
  • Nectaroscordum dioscoridis (Sm.) Stankov

Description edit

It has showy clusters of gracefully drooping bell-shaped blossoms produced in May to early June sitting atop a tall green stem, to 1.2 m in height. The florets (blossoms), suspended on long drooping pedicels, are cream colored with a maroon streak down each petal, have white flared tips, and are tinted green at the base. The blossoms are followed by decorative, erect seed pods in late summer. The blue-gray foliage is triangular in cross-section and strongly twisting along the length of the ascending leaves.[5][6] A penetrating, skunky odor is released when the plant is cut.

Distribution and habitat edit

Allium siculum is native to Turkey, iran, Crimea, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, southern France including Corsica, and Italy (Basilicata, Abruzzo, Umbria, Toscana, Sicily, Sardinia),[7] growing in damp, shady woods.

Taxonomy edit

Allium siculum is a member of a small subgenus Nectaroscordum of Allium, which consists of only this species and Allium tripedale.[8]

A. siculum comprises two subspecies:

  • Allium siculum subsp. dioscoridis (Sm.) K.Richt. (Syn. Allium bulgaricum (Janka) Prodán, Allium dioscoridis Sm., Allium meliophilum Juz.,Nectaroscordum bulgaricum Janka, Nectaroscordum dioscoridis Sm., Nectaroscordum meliophilum (Juz.) Stank., Nectaroscordum siculum subsp. bulgaricum (Janka) Stearn) - native to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Crimea, introduced in Great Britain[9]
  • Allium siculum subsp. siculum - native to France (including Corsica), Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily)[10]

Uses edit

Ornamental edit

Allium siculum is grown as an ornamental in flower gardens.[11] It has showy, drooping blossoms, with each umbel (clusters of flowers on stalks originating in the same place)[12] having up to 30 individual flowers,[11] which are white, pink, and green in colour.[13] Although the flowers initially face downwards, they turn to face upwards just before forming seedheads.[14] It also has unusual twisted foliage.[15] Unlike the majority of other Allium species, A. siculum grows well in shade.[16]

Culinary edit

In Bulgaria, the leaves of Allium siculum subsp. dioscoridis, which is known by the vernacular names 'samardala' and 'Bulgarian honey garlic', are used in the preparation of spice mixes and salts, and as a seasoning.[17][18][19]

Properties edit

Lachrymatory agents edit

Similarly to onions when chopped, if Allium siculum is crushed it gives off chemicals that make the eyes water,[citation needed] which are termed 'lachrymatory agents'.[20][21] The lachrymatory agent (Z)-butanethial S-oxide, along with several 1-butenyl thiosulfinates are detected by mass spectrometry using a DART ion source. (Z)-Butanethial S-oxide (the higher homolog of syn-propanethial-S-oxide, the onion lachrymatory agent) isolated from the plant was shown to be identical to a synthetic sample. The precursor to the lachrymatory compound, (RS,RC)-(E)-S-(1-butenyl) cysteine S-oxide (homoisoalliin), was isolated from homogenates of A. siculum, and a closely related species, Allium tripedale, and fully characterized.[22][23]

A. siculum is not eaten by grazing animals, such as deer; this is thought to be because of its garlic-like smell.[11]

Toxicity edit

A. siculum may be toxic to cats and dogs.[13] In other Allium species, this toxicity has been attributed to the presence of organosulphur compounds which induce haemolysis, resulting in haemolytic anaemia.[24]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew". Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  2. ^ Plant List, Allium siculum[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Kubec, R.; Kim, S.; McKeon, D. M.; Musah, R. A. (2002). "Isolation of S-butylcysteine sulfoxide and six butyl-containing thiosulfinates from Allium siculum". Journal of Natural Products. 65 (7): 960–964. doi:10.1021/np020064i. PMID 12141853.
  4. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  5. ^ "Allium Species Four". Pacific Bulb Society.
  6. ^ "Nectaroscordum siculum". Royal Horticultural Society. Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
  7. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Aglio della Sicilia, Allium siculum
  8. ^ Friesen, N.; Fritsch, R. M.; Blattner, F. R. (2006). "Phylogeny and new intrageneric classification of Allium (Alliaceae) based on nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS sequences". Aliso. 22: 372–395. doi:10.5642/aliso.20062201.31.
  9. ^ "Allium siculum subsp. dioscoridis (Sm.) K.Richt". Plants of the World Online. Kew Science. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  10. ^ "Allium siculum subsp. siculum". Plants of the World Online. Kew Science. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  11. ^ a b c "Allium siculum Ucria". Plants of the World Online. Kew Science. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  12. ^ "Definition of umbel". Oxford University Press. 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-11-02. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  13. ^ a b "Nectaroscordum siculum". BBC Gardeners' World Magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  14. ^ Leendertz, Lia (2011-09-16). "Plant of the week: Nectaroscordum siculum". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2016-05-21. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  15. ^ Mashayekhi, Saeideh; Columbus, J. Travis (2014). "Evolution of leaf blade anatomy in Allium (Amaryllidaceae) subgenus Amerallium with a focus on the North American species". American Journal of Botany. 101 (1): 63–85. doi:10.3732/ajb.1300053. ISSN 1537-2197. PMID 24384305.
  16. ^ "Planting for Pollinators" (PDF). The Royal Parks. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-07-22. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  17. ^ Ivanova, Teodora; Chervenkov, Mihail; Stoeva, Tatyana; Chervenkov, Stoyan; Bosseva, Yulia; Georgieva, Almira; Tsvetanova, Elina; Alexandrova, Albena; Dimitrova, Dessislava (2018-06-01). "Samardala: specificities and changes in the ethnobotanical knowledge about Allium siculum subsp. dioscoridis (Sm.) K. Richt. in Bulgaria". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 65 (5): 1349–1357. doi:10.1007/s10722-018-0618-5. ISSN 1573-5109. S2CID 3748750.
  18. ^ Vrancheva, R.; Stoyanova, M.; Mihaylova, D.; Aneva, I.; Deseva, I.; Petkova, N.; Ivanov, I.; Pavlov, A. (October 2019). "Polyphenol profile and antioxidant activity of wild growing populations of Nectaroscordum siculum ssp. bulgaricum (Janka) Stearn in Bulgaria" (PDF). International Food Research Journal. 26 (5): 1635–1640.
  19. ^ Alexieva, Iordanka; Mihaylova, Dasha; and Popova, Aneta (2013). Evaluation of the antioxidant capacity of aqueous extracts of fresh samardala (Allium bulgaricum L.) leaves.
  20. ^ "Definition of lachrymatory". Oxford University Press. 2020. Retrieved 2021-03-21.[dead link]
  21. ^ "Lachrymatory agent". Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  22. ^ Block, E. (2010). Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 978-0854041909.
  23. ^ Kubec, R.; Cody, R. B.; Dane, A. J.; Musah, R. A.; Schraml, J.; Vattekkatte, A.; Block, E. (2010). "Applications of DART Mass Spectrometry in Allium Chemistry. (Z)-Butanethial S-Oxide and 1-Butenyl Thiosulfinates and their S-(E)-1-Butenylcysteine S-Oxide Precursor from Allium siculum". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58 (2): 1121–1128. doi:10.1021/jf903733e. PMID 20047275.
  24. ^ Salgado, BS; Monteiro, LN; Rocha, NS (2011). "Allium species poisoning in dogs and cats" (PDF). The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases. 17 (1): 4–11. doi:10.1590/S1678-91992011000100002. ISSN 1678-9199.