Herb: Shortstyle Onion

Latin name: Allium brevistylum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Medicinal use of Shortstyle Onion:

A poultice of the ground root and stems, or an infusion of them, is used as a wash for carbuncles. 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.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Swampy meadows and stream sides at medium to high elevations.

Edible parts of Shortstyle Onion:

Bulb - raw or cooked. The plant has thick iris-like rhizomes. Leaves - raw or cooked. The young and succulent leaves are relished by many animals. Flowers - raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Other uses of the herb:

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Propagation of Shortstyle Onion:

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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Swampy meadows and stream sides at medium to high elevations.

Known hazards of Allium brevistylum:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.