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July 4, 2010 / Malcolm Dalebö

Discover Kurrat

  • Kurrat, or Egyptian leek (Arabic: كراث‎) (Allium ampeloprasum var. kurrat), is grown in the Middle East for its leaves. It is closely related to elephant garlic and leeks and is generally regarded as being in the same species, though it is also commonly listed as Allium kurrat.
  • The Egyptian Leek has been cultivated in Egypt for at least 2,500 years, this species is closely related to the leek, A. ampeloprasum var. porrum, and has similar uses. 
  • Grown predominantly in the Middle east, but none are known growing in a truly wild situation, showing the length of time this variety has been cultivated. 
  • The Egyptian leek is perennial, growing to 1m (3 ft).
  • It is hardy to zone 0. 
  • The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees, and other insects.
  • The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.
  • Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer
  • Edible parts are the the flowers, leaves and the root.
  • The root bulb is eaten raw or cooked. 
  • The leaves are eaten raw or used as a flavouring in cooked dishes. The whole plant can be cooked and used like leeks (A. ampeloprasum var. porrum). 
  • The flowers are eaten raw, normally used as a garnish on salads.
  • Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, 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[K].
  • Propagated by seed sown in spring in a cold frame. 
  • Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. 
  • Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. 
  • Kurrat prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. 
  • The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. 
  • It cannot grow in the shade. 
  • It requires moist soil.
  • The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. 
  • Division normally takes place in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.
  • Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants, so need to be well weeded. 
  • Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. 
  • This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. 
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