Allium Ornamental Cultivars


Ornamental Alliums, Onions

Alliums are all related to onions and so most plants in this genus have a familiar onion smell. Some have pointed rolled leaves whereas others have broader leaves. Decorative species are often grown for their showy flower spikes with brightly coloured sphere-shaped umbels, often in shades of pink to purple, or white.


Suitable for mixed borders and in cottage gardens. Low-growing species may be used in rockeries. Dwarf species can be grown in containers. Some make attractive cut flowers.


These plants prefer full sun and freely-draining soil. Good for drier soils. 


Fast-spreading species can be divided in spring or autumn. Others may be propagated by seed but may take several years to flower. 


Many named cultivars, and species are grown as ornamental plants. Some species are important edible plants but most are not grown to eat. Cultivated species include:

A. alfatunense - to 75cm tall. Greyish, glaucous leaves and large umbels of pink star-shaped flowers.
A. albopilosum - to 45cm tall. Glaucous leaves with hairy undersides and very large (to 15cm) umbels of purple-pink star-shaped flowers.
A. giganteum - to 1.2m tall. Broad, glaucous leaves and large umbels of purple star-shaped flowers.


Plant Health

They can be susceptible to rots. White rot can cause a fungal growth on the bulbs and dieback of leaves. They are sometimes eaten by slugs.

More info

These plants are native to many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Some 270-300 species are recognised.


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