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Allium

Allium

Alliums may be in the onion family, but these top-notch garden plants are anything but utilitarian vegetable-garden residents. Among the most carefree bulbs you can grow, alliums bloom in a wide range of colors (including shades of yellow, white, pink, and purple), seasons, and sizes (from inch-wide heads to volleyball-sized bloom clusters).

Alliums offer whimsical structures and great textural contrasts unique to the late-spring bulb garden. Clustered florets in a globe-shape flower head are held aloft on a thick stem. In the species, loose bouquets of flowers sprout from clustered, hollow stems. The larger allium flower heads are fun focal points for dried arrangements. Plant alliums in any well-drained garden soil in full sun. The smaller types are especially well suited for growing in rock gardens. Plant a few larger hybrids in a pot for a flowering surprise in early summer.

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

Under 6 inches to 3 feet

Width:

To 1 foot wide

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Zones:

4-9

how to grow Allium

more varieties for Allium

Allium aflatunense
Allium aflatunense
Allium aflatunense features big, spiky flower heads packed with purple blossoms on thick stems in late spring. It grows 30 inches tall. Zones 4-8
Allium carinatum pulchellum
Allium carinatum pulchellum
Allium carinatum pulchellum blooms in late spring, showing off clusters of nodding reddish-purple flowers on 2-foot-tall stems. Zones 5-8
Allium cyathophorum var. farreri
Allium cyathophorum var. farreri
Allium cyathophorum var. farreri is a vigorous selection with clusters of deep violet-purple flowers in summer. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 4-9
Allium oreophilum
Allium oreophilum
Allium oreophilum is a tiny star for the rock garden. This petite onion features airy clusters of rosy flowers on 4-inch plants. Zones 4-7
Allium schubertii
Allium schubertii
Allium schubertii is one of the most dramatic alliums. It shows off volleyball-size clusters of lavender flowers. It grows 2 feet tall. Zones 4-10
Allium senescens subsp. montanum var. glaucum
Allium senescens subsp. montanum var. glaucum
Allium senescens subsp. montanum var. glaucum is perfect for the rock garden or front of the border. It has blue-green leaves that grow in a spiral and clusters of purple-pink flowers in late summer. It grows 6 inches tall. Zones 5-9
Allium stipitatum
Allium stipitatum
Allium stipitatum blooms in early summer with 4-inch-wide clusters of lilac flowers. It grows 4 feet tall and is sometimes confused with showy allium, to which it's very similar. Zones 4-9
Allium triquetrum
Allium triquetrum
Allium triquetrum bears clusters of drooping white bells that flourish in partial shade and will spread in moist soils. The flowers unfurl in late spring on 18-inch-tall stems. Zones 3-9
Bear's garlic
Bear's garlic
Allium ursinum is noted for its 2-inch-wide shaggy white flower heads that appear on 18-inch-tall stems in summer. Zones 4-9
Blue allium
Blue allium
Allium caeruleum delights with airy bunches of delphinium-blue flowers on 18-inch-tall stems in late spring. Zones 5-7
Drumstick allium
Drumstick allium
Allium sphaerocephalon offers egg-shape reddish-purple spheres in early summer on 2-foot-tall stems. Zones 5-9
Giant allium
Giant allium
Allium giganteum is one of the largest varieties. It bears large globe-shape clusters of purple flowers on 6-foot-tall stems. Zones 5-10
'Globemaster' allium
'Globemaster' allium
Allium 'Globemaster' is a dramatic selection with 10-inch violet flower heads on 3-foot-tall stems in late spring to early summer. Zones 4-9
Golden garlic
Golden garlic
Allium moly produces bunches of star-shape, bright yellow blooms that spread their sunshine in rock gardens in late spring to early summer. It grows 12 inches tall. Zones 3-8
'Hair' allium
'Hair' allium
Allium 'Hair' is the most unique allium around. Rather than petals, this plant bears spidery green leaves atop its 18-inch-tall stems in late spring. Zones 4-8
'Ivory Queen' allium
'Ivory Queen' allium
Allium karativiense 'Ivory Queen' shows off 6-inch orbs of white flowers over wide, blue-green foliage. It grows 10 inches tall. Zones 5-8
'Millenium' allium
'Millenium' allium
Allium 'Millenium' features 2-inch-wide lavender-rose flower spheres above clumping green foliage for several weeks in late summer. It grows 12 inches tall. Zones 5-8
'Mount Everest' allium
'Mount Everest' allium
Allium 'Mount Everest' bears tennis-ball-size white flowers on 4-foot leafy stems. Zones 4-9
Naples garlic
Naples garlic
Allium neapolitanum is a summer-blooming species that has 2-inch-wide clusters of white flowers. It grows 16 inches tall. Zones 6-10
Nodding onion
Nodding onion
Allium cernuum is a North American native that has clusters of pink flowers in summer on 2-foot-tall stems. Zones 4-10
'Purple Sensation' allium
'Purple Sensation' allium
Allium aflatunense 'Purple Sensation' bears giant ultra-violet flower globes that radiate whimsy and cheer on 3-foot-tall stems in spring. Zones 4-8
Showy allium
Showy allium
Allium rosenbachianum offers 4-inch-wide globes of purple flowers in summer. It grows 3 feet tall. Zones 4-10
'Silver Spring' allium
'Silver Spring' allium
Allium 'Silver Spring' bears clusters of white flowers marked with a red-purple eye. This dramatic selection blooms in early summer and grows 2 feet tall. Zones 4-8
Star-of-Persia
Star-of-Persia
Allium cristophii bears distinct silvery-lavender flower globes to 12 inches in diameter open atop tall 2 1/2 foot stems in late spring. Zones 4-9
'Summer Beauty' allium
'Summer Beauty' allium
Allium tanguticum 'Summer Beauty' shows off clusters of dark lavender-blue flowers in midsummer on 2-foot-tall stems. Zones 4-9
'Summer Skies' allium
'Summer Skies' allium
Allium tanguticum 'Summer Skies' bears lavender-blue flowers in midsummer on 2-foot-tall stems. Zones 4-9
Turkestan onion
Turkestan onion
Allium karataviense bears loosely clustered red-and-white flowers on 10-inch-tall stems in late spring. Zones 4-8
White giant allium
White giant allium
Allium giganteum 'Album' is a white-flowering version of giant allium. It also grows 6 feet tall. Zones 5-10
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