Ask a Question forum: Do garlic and onion hybridize?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Mar 28, 2018 10:23 AM CST
Can anyone tell me if garlic and onion will hybridize? I'm planting them next to each other.

Also if food onion will hybridize with ornamental allium.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 28, 2018 10:27 AM CST
Only if they are in the same species. So No.
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Mar 28, 2018 12:48 PM CST
DaisyI said:Only if they are in the same species. So No.


But they are all Allium family.

I did find this information on attempts https://patents.google.com/pat...
Name: Sally
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sallyg
Mar 28, 2018 2:07 PM CST
Family or genus is not species level sameness. I have not read of any concern in Alliums interbreeding in home vegetable gardens..

One example where you may have interbreeding in the vegetable garden is between various pumpkin and squashy things that happen to all be same species bred to different colors and shapes.
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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 28, 2018 2:12 PM CST
keithp2012 said:Can anyone tell me if garlic and onion will hybridize? I'm planting them next to each other.

Also if food onion will hybridize with ornamental allium.

In a random manner, I would not split a dime bet on it.

Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
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SunnyBorders
Mar 28, 2018 3:31 PM CST
Very interesting, Keith!
Appreciate being forced to think.

I guess the answer is: not naturally, but hybrids can be produced by means of tissue culture (e.g. the"gonion"). I'm assuming, however, that the gonion is sterile.

Apparently, interspecific hybridization, typically associated with polyploidy (viz with an increase in the number of sets of chromosomes) has been an important mechanism in the (natural) evolution of plant species.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
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Leftwood
Mar 28, 2018 3:37 PM CST
The link describes how the hybrid(s) is made, through non-natural circumstances, and not just by a human simply dabbing pollen where it doesn't usually go.

One of the basic tenets (but often inaccurate) of a species is "breeding within its own kind".

But you are right to be suspicious. In some genera (Aquilegia, for instance) species within the genus cross very easily. On the other hand, there are genera where the species NEVER cross (Impatiens, for instance). As you might guess, most plants fall somewhere in between.

Within the Allium genus, there are hundreds of species, and whether a hybrid between any of them is even possible, depends on how closely they are related. Desert alliums are distantly related to Allium cernuum, that is native to New York. They would never cross naturally. But Allum cernuum and A. stellatum are closely related, and grown in proximity, there is a strong chance that they could hybridize.

Our Perennial Plant of the Year, Allium 'Millenium' is a chance hybrid, perhaps even between mulitple allium species.

Both onions and garlics have been bred by humans out of the wild for millenia, which would distance their relationship even more. Their morphology suggests they are far apart:
-- onions have round, hollow leaves. garlic has flat, solid leaves.
-- bulbs are completely different, too.
Garlic rarely produces seed anyway. What you see are actually baby bulbs. I don't think they would ever cross.

I don't think garlic and onion would ever cross.
Name: greene
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greene
Mar 28, 2018 3:52 PM CST
It happens naturally sometimes but not very often.
One is xFatshedera lizei is a naturally occurring cross between Fatsia japonica and Hedera helix 'Hibernica', but both plants are in the Aralia family. It's an inter-generic hybrid, a cross between plants from different genera.
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