by Stephen Mifsud
   13 Jun 2024      ()
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Allium commutatum   (Maritime Wild Leek)

Allium commutatum  (AMARYLLIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date July-2006 (taxon update: July-2006)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Allium commutatum - datasheet created on July-2006. Retrieved from on 13-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Allium commutatumGuss.
Published in Enum. Pl. Inar. 339 (1854)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Allium ampeloprasum var. commutatum (Guss.) Fior
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Amaryllidaceae Jaume St.-Hil (The Daffodil or Amaryllis Family)
28 species from the Amaryllidaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Maritime Wild Leek, Sea Garlic

Maltese name(s) :

Kurrat tax-xatt

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

June – July

Colour of Flowers:

Pink or White


Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :

Allium: The classical Latin name for garlic. (Latin origin )
commutatum: meaning changed or altered but in taxonomy it is often used for a species that is quite variable and was previously included in another species and have been described as a new and different species. In other words it was previously included in another species. (Latin origin ) 2 = In this case this allusion can be referred to the closely related species - Allium ampeloprasum.

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Open habitats near the sea; ocassionally in abandoned fields
Preferred habitat in Malta: Shallow rocky coasts
Botanical Description: Bulbs up to 6 cm in diameter, subglobose; outer tunics membranous or coriaceous, enclosing large yellowish bulblets. Stem up to 180 cm, solid. Leaves 5-11, up to 50 x 5 cm, sheathing the lower 1/4-2/3 of the stem, canaliculate but not keeled, glabrous. Spathe 1-valved, with ovoid base c. 2 cm, abruptly contracted above into a 2-edged beak 16-30 cm, caducous. Perianth ovoid; segments 4 x 1.5 mm, whitish-pink or dull magenta with green or purple keel, the outer lanceolate, acute, strongly concave, the inner narrowly obovate, obtuse, with serrate margin, all covered externally with minute papillae (only visible under microscope). Stamens exserted; outer 3 filaments c. 5 mm, usually tricuspidate with the basal lamina c. 0.5 mm wide, or sometimes simple; inner with the base c. 1 mm wide, the base and the lateral cusps about as long as the central cusp. Capsule c. 4 mm.
Chromosome number: 2n=16, 24, 32
Distributional range: C. & E. Mediterranean region

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Corse, Crete, Greece, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) Bl Co Cr Gr It Ju Sa Si Tu(A)

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




A revision of Allium subsect. Allium (Amaryllidaceae) for the Maltese Islands Stephen Mifsud & Owen Mifsud  (2018)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (13 images)
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-0.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-1.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-2.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-3.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-4.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-5.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-6.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-7.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-8.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-9.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-10.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-11.
   Allium commutatum   -   Image Code: ALLCM-12.

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