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Genus of the Week

Week of Apr. 20-26

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.

This week's genus:


Subclass: Monocotyledoneae
Superorder: Liliidae
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae: The Lily Family
(Some classifications place Allium in either the Alliaceae or Amaryllidaceae family.)
Number of Species: At least 700

The genus Allium has many important economic uses. Plants of this genus are known under the common names of Onion, Garlic, Leek, Chive, etc. They are often easily recognized by their bulbs, which are actually fleshy leaves (used for food storage) growing underground and surrounding the stem. They can also be recognized by the their strong onion-like odor.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Allium species:


  1. Raven, Peter H. et al. Biology of Plants. New York, Worth Publishers: 1992.
  2. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  3. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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