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Allium Edible is a startup making high-quality, natural cosmetic and personal care products with an emphasis on safe ingredients. Founded in 2014, Allium Edible was born out of the idea that healthy, natural beauty products should not be complicated, inaccessible, or unaffordable.The diverse genus Allium contains approximately 800 species, although only a few of these are familiar as food crops -- mainly onions (Allium cepa), garlic (Allium sativum), leeks (Allium ampeloprasum) and chives (Allium schoenoprasumand). These Allium have been cultivated for centuries, and used to add flavor and zest to food. Many more species are grown for their ornamental value, but even these are theoretically edible, although not likely as tasty as food crop species. Allium species can be lumped into two types: those that have true bulbs and those that grow from rhizomes with less-developed vestigial bulbs attached to them. The bulbous species generally flower early and then go dormant, while the rhizomatous species often flower later and longer. All Alliums contain organic compounds called organosulfoxides, which give them a distinctive odor and taste. In ornamental species, this odor is not apparent until you crush the leaves or stems.
The bulbs are the most commonly eaten part of yellow, red and white garden onions, while scallions are usually harvested for their stalks, although the white base is also edible. Nodding onion (Allium cernuum) is grown as an ornamental, featuring small, bell-shaped flowers in pink or white. Allium senescens, or German garlic, has twisting leaves and clusters of lavender flowers. Both of these ornamentals thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. The flowers, roots and stems are edible in both; and when crushed or cut, emit an oniony smell. While alliums are fine for human consumption, they are poisonous to dogs and cats. Don’t grow these in your garden if your pets can access them, and never give a dog or cat table food that has been seasoned with onion or garlic. Additionally, if you see a plant growing wild that appears to resemble an allium, do not eat it, as it could be a dangerous look-alike. If you've definitely identified a wild allium, don't eat too much, as the wild versions are more potent and can cause intestinal discomfort.
Whether grown as an ornamental or a food crop, most species of these hardy perennials prefer a sunny location, and many require a period of dormancy. These shallow-rooted plants need well-draining, fertile soil, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Alliums work well as companion plants for roses, carrots and beets, but are not good with legumes. Rotating your allium crops can help prevent disease. Onions and leeks thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, while garlic grows in zones 4 through 9 and chives in zones 4 through 8. More than 1,000 plant varieties are found in the allium family, which includes garlic, onions, leeks, chives and several decorative flowers. Alliums have been cultivated for decorative and edible uses as far back as 1594, and wild varieties have been foraged for millennia. The allium family provides at least one of the staple foods in nearly every culture, as onions, garlic and their relatives often provide depth to nearly any savory (and some sweet) dish. Check out our guide on amazing alliums to learn more about the different plant types and how to grown and use them! (Source: www.organicauthority.com)