Copyright: Chistiane Schulze
Allium is a monocot genus of flowering plants, informally referred to as the onion genus. The generic name Allium is the Latin word for garlic. The genus, including the various edible onions, garlics, chives, and leeks, has played a pivotal role in cooking worldwide, as the various parts of the plants, either raw or cooked in many ways, produce a large variety of flavors and textures.
The genus contains hundreds of distinct species; many have been harvested through human history, but only about a dozen are still economically important today as crops or garden vegetables. Many others are cultivated as ornamental plants.