by Stephen Mifsud
   7 Apr 2020      ()
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Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   (White Round-headed Garlic)

Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense  (AMARYLLIDACEAE .) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense retrieved from on 2020-Apr-07

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense(Gussone) Arcangeli
Published in Comp. Fl. Ital. 702 (1882)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Alium arvense Guss.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Amaryllidaceae Jaume St.-Hil (The Daffodil or Amaryllis Family)
27 species from the Amaryllidaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

White Round-headed Garlic

Maltese name(s) :

Tewm ta' Għawdex

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very Rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE (bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc.)
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

This species has a threatened status and is listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Remarks :

Locally frequent at the coastal cliffs in Gozo, very rare in mainland malta. Possibly introduced by Gozitan farmers as a trial crop. A very rare Allium species found only on the cliffs of South West to West of Gozo.

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Rupestral dry and open habitats.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Coastal cliffs especially in the island of Gozo

Botanical Description:

Bulbs 1-2 cm in diameter, ovoid; outer tunics membranous or coriaceous, sometimes breaking into parallel fibres; bulblets white or yellowish, acuminate, stalked and enclosed within sheath on lower part of the stem. Stem 5-90 cm. Leaves 2-6, up to 30 cm x 1-4 mm, fistular, semicylindrical, canaliculate, sheathing the lower ¼-½ of the stem. Spathe up to 2 cm, usually 2-valved, shortly beaked, persistent, shorter than the umbel. Umbel 1-6 cm in diameter, usually less than 3 cm, subglobose to very broadly ovoid, sometimes with bulbils; pedicels 2-30 mm, unequal. Perianth cylindrical to narrowly ovoid; segments 3.5-5.5 x 1.2-2.5 mm, white with green or yellowish keel, the outer mostly narrowly ovate or lanceolate, keeled, the inner slightly narrower, obtuse to almost truncate or subacute, papillose or smooth on keel and surface. Stamens exserted; outer 3 filaments 4-7 mm, simple or rarely tricuspidate, the inner 3 with the basal lamina 1-2 times as long as the central cusp, the lateral cusps shorter to longer than the 1.5-3 mm central cusp; anthers reddish before dehiscence. Capsule c. 4 mm

Distributional range:

C. to E. Mediterranean region

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, Bulgaria, Crete, Greece, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Sicily and/or Malta

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

AE(G) Ag Al Eg Gr LS Ma Si Tn Tu(A)

Images (9 images)
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-0.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-1.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-2.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-3.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-4.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-5.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-6.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-7.
   Allium sphaerocephalon subsp. arvense   -   Image Code: ALLAV-8.

Links & Further info

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Vienna Virt. Hb.





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