Botanical name: Allium wallichii Family: Alliaceae (onion family)
Himalaya Onion is a deciduous bulb that grows to 1.0 meters high by 0.5 meters wide. It grows in Himalyan foothills between 2300-6600 m. It sports hemispheric umbels of purple flowers. In Nepal, Himalaya onion is often used for cooking, especially for flavouring dal (दाल) boiled legumes. Rather uniquely, jimbu leaves are usually employed in the dried state and fried in butter fat to develop their flavour.
Medicinal uses: The bulbs, boiled then fried in ghee, are eaten in the treatment of cholera and dysentery. The raw bulb is chewed to treat coughs and colds. It is said that eating the bulbs can ease the symptoms of altitude sickness. 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.
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