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Allium chinense - G.Don.                
                 
Common Name Rakkyo
Family Alliaceae
Synonyms A. bakeri. A. splendens. non Willd.
Known Hazards Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[76].
Habitats Often cultivated, plants can be found wild on the edges of fields[203].
Range E. Asia - China
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of bulb
Allium chinense is an evergreen Bulb growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Allium chinense Rakkyo


Allium chinense Rakkyo
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked[116, 177]. The bulb has an excellent crisp texture with a strong onion flavour[183], it can be 4 - 5cm in diameter, though it does not reach this size until the second or third year[206]. It contains about 3.1% protein, 0.12% fat, 18.3% soluble carbohydrate, 0.7% ash[179]. Leaves - raw or cooked[179]. Flowers and young seedpods - raw[179]. Used as a garnish on salads.
Composition                                         
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Root (Fresh weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 3.1g; Fat: 0.1g; Carbohydrate: 18.3g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0.7g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Carminative;  Expectorant.

The whole plant is astringent, carminative and expectorant[176]. It is used in the treatment of stuffiness sensation and pain in the chest, angina pectoris, pleurisy, bronchitis, diarrhoea and tenesmus in cases of dysentery[176]. Although no other specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system[K].
Other Uses
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[20].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1]. Tolerates poor soils[206]. Plants often die-back in hot weather mid-summer, coming back into growth in late summer and flowering in the autumn[206]. The flowers seldom set seed in Britain[206]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants[203]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. This species is widely cultivated for its edible bulb and leaves, mainly in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Japan, China and many other parts of eastern Asia[58, 183, 266]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
G.Don.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
58200266
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[54]Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds.
Interesting reading.
[58]Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation)
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
[116]Brooklyn Botanic Garden Oriental Herbs and Vegetables, Vol 39 No. 2.
A small booklet packed with information.
[176]Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[179]Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao.
A translation of an ancient Chinese book on edible wild foods. Fascinating.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.
A well produced and very readable book.
[203]Davies. D. Alliums. The Ornamental Onions.
Covers about 200 species of Alliums. A very short section on their uses, good details of their cultivation needs.
[206]Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables
Well written and very informative.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[266] Flora of China
On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.

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