Allium scythicum 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Amaryllidaceae

Scientific Name: Allium scythicum Zoz
Taxonomic Notes: Allium scythicum Zoz is a tertiary wild relative of a number of crops in the allium group, including onion (A. cepa L.), Welsh onion (A. fistulosum L.), leek (A. porrum L.), garlic (A. sativum L.) and chives (A. schoenoprasum L.). According to Mathew (1996) the species may be conspecific with A. regelianum—it was described from east of Herson (Ukraine), but field studies are required to assess the status of this taxon, and the relationships between it, A. regelianum and A. sphaeracephalon. However, according to V. Melnyk (pers. comm. 2010) it is a valid species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-02
Assessor(s): Kell, S.P. & Melnyk, V.
Reviewer(s): Maxted, N. & Nieto, A.
European regional assessment: Data Deficient (DD)
EU 27 regional assessment: Not Evaluated (NE)

Allium scythicum
is assessed as Data Deficient as there is currently insufficient information available to evaluate this species. It has been nationally listed as Vulnerable but the data used for this assessment were not available for the current project. Information about the precise distribution, population size and trend of this species, as well as the current threats that it faces is needed to review this assessment.

It does not occur within the EU 27.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:A. scythicum is endemic to southeastern Ukraine where it is found on the Black Sea coast in Chersonska region, Goloprystanskij and Chaplinskij districts.

Countries occurrence:
Ukraine (Ukraine (main part))
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


In first part of the 19th century, there was a large subpopulation of A. scythicum in Dzambek and Solonij pods (plains with saline soils in southern Ukraine) in the territory of the Askania Nova Biosphere Reserve (Chaplinskij district, Chersonska region). Now these pods have been converted to arable land and it is thought that these subpopulations are extinct. Other subpopulations are very small; for example, a single subpopulation in Chornomorskij Biosphere Reserve comprises only 59 adult individuals.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

It grows in pods with saline soils in communities of the Limonio–Festucion alliance, Festuco–Limonictalia class.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: A. scythicum is a tertiary wild relative of and potential gene donor to a number of crops in the allium group, including onion (A. cepa), Welsh onion (A. fistulosum), leek (A. porrum), garlic (A. sativum) and chives (A. schoenoprasum).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

It is threatened by ploughing and changes in the hydrological regime of soils.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

A. scythicum is listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine (Diduch 2009) as Vulnerable. It occurs in Chornomorskij Biosphere Reserve.

No germplasm accessions of A. scythicum are reported by EURISCO to be held in European genebanks (EURISCO Catalogue 2010). A review of the ex situ conservation status of this species is required and germplasm collection and duplicated ex situ storage should be carried out as necessary.

Citation: Kell, S.P. & Melnyk, V. 2011. Allium scythicum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172152A6837869. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
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