Skip to main content »

Crimson or Kamnik Leek (Allium kermesinum)

The best known leek, or garlic, here is the Crimson or Kamnik Leek. It has a slight smell of garlic, but this is not particularly pronounced. It has a long, narrow bulb. The leaves are fluted, reminiscent of the leaves of chives. Only at the base do they form a sheath. The flowers are red or pink and are joined in slight inflorescences. The Kamnik Leek flowers only in August or September.


A description of a new species is normally published in a journal or book. Only exceptionally does the page of a herbarium qualify as a valid description. The Kamnik Leek is such an exception, which had two finders and a number of birthplaces or classical localities. Around 1840, Baron Nikomed Rastern, who had an estate in the vicinity of Domžale, picked an unknown species of leek in the Kamnik Alps, on Srednje vrh by Storžič. His botanical friend, Andrej Fleischmann, who was gardener at the Ljubljana Botanical Gardens for many years, found the leek on Mokrica and Storžič. They sent the dried plants to one of the leading German botanists, who christened the new species, described it on the page of a herbarium and sent it in a collection of German dried flowers to the majority of European museums and universities.

Crimson or Kamnik Leek is endemic to the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. It grows on Storžič, Grintovec, Skuta, Brana, on Ojstrica, Velika Planina and on Krvavec.


Since it is endemic, it is classifed in the Red List of threatened plants of Slovenia, among unthreatened plants.



Text by Nada Praprotnik



Crimson or Kamnik Leek (Allium kermesinum) /