River Bank, Beside Tower Bridge, Spring Watch, London
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Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
Arises with a stiff, upright stem which bears a vivid tight circular purple flower head that appears to float through the perennials on the Dry Garden.This bulbous perennial has long, strap-shaped, grey-green basal leaves. In most species, a single bulb produces clusters of offset bulbs around it, which gradually form clumps.
The name Allium is from the ancient name for garlic, which is part of the genus. There are estimated to be around 700 species within the genus, and many cultivars. The whole group was prized by the ancients as possessing medical and aphrodisiac qualities as well as flavour. The Romans are sometimes held responsible for their wide distribution by taking them wherever they went.