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Bulgarian Onion

10 May 2012
Rainy 18°C / 64°F

No, in English this plant isn’t known as a Bulgarian Onion. You call it a Sicilian Honey Lily.
In my previous journal entry I was still searching for the name of a plant that just had started blooming in my garden. Before long, I found out it was Nectoroscordum siculum.
In Dutch, the plant is called Bulgaarse ui, Bulgarian onion.

And as always, I kept reading, to find out if there was something interesting to find about this plant, and I eventually found a comment of a lady from Bulgaria. And the Dutch name turns out to be not so strange… This is what she tells:

“Do you only grow this for the flowers? How odd! Most people in my area (I’m from Bulgaria) use it as seasoning. My grandma grows it in the yard where the veggies are. I don’t know any recipes with fresh leaves (even though I’ve heard it’s good in salads), but this is how we use it: the leaves are mixed with salt in equal proportions and grinded. Then dried in a shady place. I like to sprinkle fresh tomatoes or cucumbers with this mix only and eat them. It’s also a good addition to baked potatoes.
We only use the leaves. I asked my grandma – she told me leaves must be harvested before the plant blooms. She also suggested you cut only the thickest and pulpiest ones, and the small ones you could leave, so that it doesn’t look ugly. She was also very surprised when I told her you grow it for the flowers – she cuts almost everything, leaving only 2 or 3 plants to take their the seeds for the next year.”


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How interesting that it is used as a spice. That looks just like the plant I had ID’d as Allium siculum, Mediteranean Bells. An alternate Latin name?

In Dave’s garden they list 5 different Latin names for this plant
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1832/#b

Posted on 11 May 12 (over 3 years ago)

Really interesting … I’m going to have to find some for my garden!

Posted on 11 May 12 (over 3 years ago)

Very interesting information. Wonder if I can grow it in my 5b zone.

Posted on 11 May 12 (over 3 years ago)
laurieann

laurieann

Folia Helper

United States7b

great pic and story! I want some for my garden too.

Posted on 11 May 12 (over 3 years ago)
AnneTanne

AnneTanne

Folia Helper

Belgium8

@anelson: indeed, Allium siculum and Nectaroscordum siculum are the same plant. Afaik, Nectaroscordum siculum is the more recent name. At present, Nectaroscordum is recognized as a small subgenus (only two species) in the Alliaceae-family.

Posted on 12 May 12 (over 3 years ago)
AnneTanne

AnneTanne

Folia Helper

Belgium8

@rosemarieGardener: Bulgaria is in a zone that can be compared to USDA zone 6-7, I’m in 8 .. The botanic and English name point to Sicily, that has a climat that can be compared to zone 9-10.
But on this page, I find it’s hardy in zone 4-10.

Posted on 12 May 12 (over 3 years ago)
Posted on 27 May 12 (over 3 years ago)

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