Allium scorodoprasum

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Sand leek, rocambole
Illustration Allium scorodoprasum and Allium porrum0.jpg
Allium scorodoprasum[1]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. scorodoprasum
Binomial name
Allium scorodoprasum

The sand leek (Allium scorodoprasum), also known as rocambole and Korean pickled-peel garlic,[3] is a Eurasian species of wild onion with a native range extending across much of Europe, Middle East, and Korea.[2][4][5][6][7][8] The species should not be confused with rocambole garlic, which is A. sativum var. ophioscorodon.


The sand leek is a perennial plant with an egg-shaped bulb. The plant produces two to five unstalked leaves, the bases of which are sheath-like. Each leaf blade is linear, 7-20 mm wide,[9] flat with a slight keel, an entire margin and parallel veins. The edges of the leaf and the central vein are rough to the touch. The flowering stem is cylindrical, growing to a height of 30 to 90 cm (12 to 35 in) and the upper half is leafless. The whole plant has an onion-like aroma. The inflorescence is a globular cluster surrounded by membranous bracts in bud which wither when the flowers open. Each individual flower is stalked and has a purple perianth 4 to 7 mm (0.16 to 0.28 in) long. There are six tepals, six stamens and a pistil formed from three fused carpels. Mixed with the flowers are a number of purple bulbils. The fruit is a capsule, but the seeds seldom set, and propagation usually takes place when the bulbils are knocked off and grow into new plants.[10]


The natural habitat of A. scorodoprasum is damp broad-leaved woodland, forest margins, shores, hillside meadows and hedgerows. It was at one time used as a kitchen herb and can sometimes be found near old habitations.[10][11]


A. scorodoprasum is edible but seldom cultivated, and has a shorter flower stalk and fewer and more inconsistently shaped cloves than Rocambole garlic. Sand leek also has a dark violet bulb wrapper.[12]

Elephant garlic (properly A. ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) is also sometimes incorrectly sold as A. scorodoprasum.[citation needed]


  1. ^ 1885 illustration from Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 348. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Retrieved 17 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service. 
  4. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Aglio romano, sand leek, Allium scorodoprasum L. includes photos, drawings, European distribution map
  5. ^ Komarov, V.L. (ed.) (1935). Flora SSSR 4: 1-586. Izdatel'stov Akademii Nauk SSSR, Leningrad.
  6. ^ Davis, P.H. (ed.) (1984). Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands 8: 1-632. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  7. ^ Danin, A. (2004). Distribution Atlas of Plants in the Flora Palaestina area: 1-517. The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem.
  8. ^ Dimpoulos, P., Raus, T., Bergmeier, E., Constantinidis, T., Iatrou, G., Kokkini, S., Strid, A., & Tzanoudakis, D. (2013). Vascular plants of Greece. An annotated checklist: 1-372. Botanic gardens and botanical museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin and Hellenic botanical society, Athens.
  9. ^ Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 903. ISBN 9780521707725. 
  10. ^ a b "Sand leak: Allium scorodoprasum". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  11. ^ "Allium scorodoprasum". Plants For A Future. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  12. ^ Growing Great Garlic, 2nd Edition, Filaree Productions, 1992, p. 7.