Slime onion - a healthy and tasty decoration in the garden
The genus of bows (alliums) is very wide and diverse. Even well-known garlic, strictly speaking, is one of the varieties of onions. Globally, allium is divided into vegetable and ornamental species. But some representatives of onions are universal - they not only get on the table, but also decorate the site, originally complementing decorative perennials. In particular, onion-slime refers to those. While it is rarely seen in the gardens, although this culture is worthy of more attention. Why is he so good?
Slime onion - plant portrait
Slime Onion (Allium nutans) are also sometimes called bow drooping, Siberian onion, ferruginous onion. The main name is due to the fact that when collecting foliage, plentiful mucous juice is secreted from it.
This onion is distinguished by small bulbs (1.5-2 centimeters), which are attached to the rhizome. Due to their small size, it can even be difficult to see, and the plant seems to be rhizome. Onion-slug slice bulbs are very edible, but mainly this onion is of interest for use on the feather.
Due to such features of the root system, onion-slime is easier to care for and maintains a stable attractive appearance. Its bulbs do not need regular digging and drying, they tolerate the temperature conditions of the middle band well and never freeze in winter. In addition, it can grow in one place for a long time, but still every five years it is better to divide it.
The leaves of the onion-slug are very decorative, do not turn yellow and do not die after flowering. Foliage is collected in bundles of 8-9 leaf blades, they are flat with a bluish-blue bloom and are distinguished by a slight spiral bend, the tips of the leaves are blunt.
Some varieties of onion-slugs have more twisted leaves, which become the main decoration of the plant all season, however cultivars with minimal curls are no less attractive in flower beds.
Before flowering, the height of the onion does not exceed 30 centimeters, and together with peduncles the plant reaches 60-80 centimeters in height. This type of onion, growing, forms wide curtains, but does not become an aggressor and does not interfere with other plants.
Most of the decorative onions bloom in the first half of summer and by the middle of the season they only remind themselves of themselves as a dried flower. Slime onion, due to its biological characteristics, just replaces the first batch of alliums and blooms in mid-late July.
Its flower heads are medium-sized (3-4 centimeters in diameter), but they are very numerous, and flowering is stretched over time. Most often, the flowers are light lilac, but there are varieties with pure white, pink or more saturated colored heads.
After flowering until winter, slime onions remain attractive thanks to the schedule of brown-brown spherical heads dancing in the autumn wind. During flowering, inflorescences full of nectar, like a magnet, attract butterflies.
Useful properties and culinary use
Vitamin Greens onion-slug becomes available immediately after the snow melts. It is enough to settle this unique plant once in your garden once, and you can enjoy delicious and healthy greens every spring.
Due to the special chemical composition, the feathers of slime onions are not bitter and have a pleasant garlic aroma. We prefer to add this onion to fresh salads and soups. But its culinary use is much wider. It is added to vegetable stews, a filling for pies, meat dishes, omelets, pickled, pickled or dried for the winter.
Thanks to its rich composition, this is a real storehouse of vitamins, and it can rightfully be called a green doctor. Onion-mucus is recommended for use by people with thyroid diseases, reproductive problems, colds, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, vitamin deficiency, anemia, for the prevention of cancer, and externally for wound healing. In moderate amounts, it is allowed even to nursing mothers and children over 1 year old.
Outwardly, it is used in the form of masks to strengthen the hair and improve the condition of the skin of the face. Such a wide scope of application is provided by the presence of vitamins (A, C, group B, PP, K), zinc, potassium, calcium, manganese, flavonoids, phytoncides and various salts in the plant.
Flower Slime Onion
Despite a wide range of useful properties, for me, slime onions are, first of all, a valuable decorative perennial. Its delicate fine texture distinguishes this onion from other garden plants with less interesting foliage.
In my garden, it grows in a mixborder of a natural style. The bright leaves of decorative willow Hakuo Nishiki became a good backdrop for the lilac heads of the slime onions. This combination looks very stylish and gentle. And while the onion does not bloom, it forms a bluish decorative meadow under the crown of a willow.
There probably is no such perennial or ornamental shrub with which slime onions could not create a successful combination. But it looks most spectacular in company with yarrow, echinacea, sage, veronikarum, in combination with cereals or conifers.
Thanks to the presence of this onion in our garden, we can observe even winged beauties of rare species in the flower garden. For example, last year we were visited by a very spectacular large butterfly, podalirium, which is not often found in our places.
In natural flower gardens, where a huge stake is made on the play of structures, this bow is simply irreplaceable, because the charming fluffy balls of inflorescences and linear foliage never lose shape. In addition, with its use it is possible to create floristic compositions - slime onions stand for a long time in the cut, and when dried, this is the most valuable dried flower.
Landing and care
This type of onion is a rather low-maintenance plant, and it can be cut in late autumn after flowering, or you can postpone this procedure until spring. Some gardeners recommend completely cutting off the aerial part before the onset of cold weather, which, in their opinion, will help increase the frost resistance of onions. Nevertheless, this crop is quite winter-hardy without it (up to –40 degrees), and I prefer only to prune the dried flower stalks in spring.
Slime onions grow at an average rate, and under favorable conditions can grow in one place, without causing any problems to the gardener, for about 5 years. After this time, the slime onion is better divided into separate sockets.
The best time for dividing is early spring, when the greens have already appeared from the ground, or late autumn. Pieces of rhizome can be chopped off with a shovel, or separated manually. Young sockets are planted at a new location at a distance of 20-30 centimeters from each other.
This plant feels best in full sun or in light partial shade. Onion-slime prefers dry soils or soils with an average level of moisture, and the soil should be very well drained, since it often dies due to stagnation of water at the roots (melt water, or long puddles after rain). However, in the dry period, it is still recommended to water the onions.
If you grow slime onions as a vegetable plant, then watering should be regular, otherwise this will cause the leaves to become too hard.
The culture does not have special requirements for the type of soil, but too acidic will not please him. Slime onions are very tolerant to the gassed city air and will bloom profusely and grow well in urban environments.
Propagation of Slime Onion
The fastest and most reliable way to start onion-slime on the site is to acquire young delenki. But this onion can also be grown from seeds by sowing seedlings indoors in March. However, in this case, you can collect a full crop only in the third year.
Sometimes slime onions are used as a pot plant to have fresh herbs on hand almost all year round. To do this, in the late autumn, before the frosts strike, small delenki are dug up, planted in pots and sent to the basement. This measure is necessary to provide the bow with a short rest period (at least a month).
After that, the pots with plantings are exposed on a bright window. Once the onion has grown, it can be used as a fresh vitamin seasoning.