A research center for allium, a plant genus which includes garlic and onions, has been opened to the public in Kunming Botanical Garden, southwest China's Yunnan province.

The Kunming Center of the China-Uzbekistan Global Allium Garden was jointly built by the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Institute of Botany at the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan.

The garden is engaged in the collection, conservation, and exhibition of allium, and also provides support for allium research, utilization, and public education. It is expected to be a global base for wild allium preservation.

The Kunming Center has collected at least 65 allium species, while the other center of the global allium garden, in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent, has collected more than 100 species.

There are more than 500 allium species around the world. China has over 100 of them.

Uzbekistan is an important origin of garlic and onions, which play an important role as flavoring in cooking, as well as medicine. "Their resistance to drought, coldness, and pests make them suitable for gardening," said Sun Weibang, a researcher of the Kunming Institute of Botany.

"Garlic was also one of the spices shared along the ancient Silk Road," said Sun.


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