Herb: Round-Headed Leek

Latin name: Allium sphaerocephalon

Synonyms: Allium sphaerocephalum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Medicinal use of Round-Headed Leek:

Although no 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:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Limestone rocks and fields in dry places.

Edible parts of Round-Headed Leek:

Edible bulb - raw or cooked. An onion substitute. The bulbs are up to 35mm in diameter. Leaves - raw or cooked. They can be dried for later use. 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 Round-Headed Leek:

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:

Limestone rocks and fields in dry places.

Known hazards of Allium sphaerocephalon:

Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very 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.