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Allium Negianum: A New Species of Onion

Star marking (1-5) indicates the importance of topic for CSE
  • 19 Oct 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, a newly discovered plant Allium negianum, in Uttarakhand has been confirmed to belong to the genus that includes many staple foods such as onion and garlic.

  • A staple food makes up the dominant part of a population’s diet. They are eaten regularly—even daily—and supply a major proportion of a person’s energy and nutritional needs.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Allium is one of the largest genera in Amaryllidaceae.
      • Amaryllidaceae is a family of herbaceous (connected with plants that have soft stems), mainly perennial and bulbous flowering plants.
    • The genus Allium contains about 1,100 species worldwide, including many staple foods like onion, garlic, scallion, shallot and chives.
    • The genus naturally occurs in dry seasons in the northern hemisphere and South Africa but the newly-identified species is restricted to the region of the western Himalaya.
    • The scientific name Allium negianum honours the late Dr. Kuldeep Singh Negi, an eminent explorer and Allium collector from India.
      • They are useful for various medicinal purposes.
  • Distribution in India:
    • The Indian Allium is distributed in different eco-geographical areas of the temperate and alpine regions of Himalayas.
    • The Indian Himalayan region has two distinct centers of Allium diversity, the Western Himalaya (over 85% of total diversity) and the Eastern Himalaya (6%), covering the alpine-sub temperate region.
  • Condition of Growth:
    • It grows at 3,000 to 4,800 m above sea level and can be found along open grassy meadows, sandy soils along rivers, and streams forming in snow pasture lands along alpine meadows.
  • Threat:
    • Indiscriminate harvesting of its leaves and bulbs for seasoning may pose a threat to its wild populations.

Source: IE

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