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Flowering Onions

The Allium genus is a large one...

allium

Photo: J.M. van Berkel (© Studio Royale)

Allium ‘Globemaster’.

When you are planting bulbs for spring bloom, especially if you’re searching for late fall bargains, be sure to look for any alliums you can find on sale. These flowering onions are a great bonus in the spring garden as deer and rodents avoid them. They also produce balls of tiny florets that last for a long time. They come in all sizes from huge balls to tiny ones and mostly but not exclusively the colors are blue or purple.

The Allium genus is a large one and the ornamental bulbs are of course are related to the culinary onion but allium blooms don’t have such a strong onion smell.

The giants in the genus like ‘Ambassador’, ‘Pink Jewel’, ‘White Giant’, ‘Mount Everest’, ‘Beauregard’, and ‘Globe Master’ are focal points in the garden in late spring through early summer. ‘Silver Spring’, a recent introduction, has four-inch flower heads made up of florets accented with rose-violet centers surrounding plum and light green eyes. And ‘Red Mohican’ is a burgundy drumstick type with a namesake haircut and white tips.

There are tiny flowering onions, too. ‘Flavum’ is a yellow dwarf, and ‘Jeannine’ is a variety grown in southern Europe for centuries to bring good luck and prosperity.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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