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Allium ursinum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Type species
Allium sativum

Allium is a genus of flowering plants. It contains garlic, leek, onions and chives. There are hundreds of species, some of which have been cultivated for much of human history. Today, about a dozen species are economically important. The type species of the genus is Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic..[1] The taxonomy of Allium is difficult, the boundaries between species are often unclear. For this reason, the number of recognised species varies between 260, and 860. Most people think there are about 750 species.[2]


  1. Allium In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile
  2. Pablo Hirschegger, Jernej Jaške, Peter Trontelj, and Borut Bohanec. 2010. "Origins of Allium ampeloprasum horticultural groups and a molecular phylogeny of the section Allium (Allium; Alliaceae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54(2):488-497. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.08.030