Large group of ornamental and edible bulbs and flowers that has been valued and vilified alternately over the centuries. Notable members of the family include the large ornamental Giant Alliums (A. giganteum)and the diminutive but delicious Garlic (A. sativum). Also look for A. siculum, A. Neapolitanum and A. aflatunense.
Care and Handling:
Most varieties will exude the odor associated with onions if handled brusquely, so treat with care. Inspect allium flowers upon arrival, taking particular care to look closely at the tiny flowers that compose the flower head. Make sure that all are alive, and not turning brown or black. Check also that the stems are neither slimy yellowing or cracked. Stems should be cut and the flowers hydrated in a low sugar holding solution. These flowers should preferably be processed in the cooler, as they are generally spring crops.