Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. porrum


The leek (Allium porrum) belongs to the Liliaceae family and is a close relation of garlic, onion and shallot.  It is native to the Mediterranean and was known to ancient civilizations; nowadays it is a vegetable grown and appreciated almost all over the world.

The leek is a biennial grown as an annual; its first season sees the growth of its “fruit”, composed of long, acuminate, opposite leaves, either erect or trailing and of various shades of green. The leaf sheaths form a stem like structure, called a pseudostem, around 20 cm -30 cm in length, with a diameter between 2 cm – 5 cm. The size obviously varies according to the cultivar.

The edible part of the leek is the lower part of the pseudostem, where the leaves are white because grown under the ground and therefore without light. The upper, green, part is not normally used for cooking.

The actual stem of the leek is a thin disk, from which the pseudostem – which may have a bulbous swelling close to the stem disk – and the roots – which are fasciculated and can be up to 50 cm long – grow.

Leek plants flower in their second year, usually in late spring. A tall solid stalk bears a globular umbel that is made up of 300 - 400 pinkish-white flowers and, when mature, produces angular black seeds.

Growing Sheet

Scientific name Allium porrum
Productivity cycle Annual
Recommended Seeding In Pots
Number of seeds 2
Sowing Depth 0.30 cm
Distance between rows 30 cm / 40 cm
Distance between rows 10 cm / 15 cm
Estimated number of plants/sqm 18.00
Average growing time 150 gg / 160 gg
Average sprouting time 15 gg / 20 gg
Produce per sqm 1.50 kg / 4.00 kg
Estimated growing sqm per person 1.3
Ideal Sprouting Temperature (C°) 15 °c - 20 °c
Min. Temperature (C°) -15 °c
Soil pH 6.00 / 7.50
Can be grown in pots no