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Allium aflatunense is often confused with:
Allium hollandicum Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium giganteum Plant
Anemonoides blanda Flowers
Allium cristophii Flowers

Ornamental Onion Allium aflatunense

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um ah-flat-oo-NEN-say
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Ornamental Onion is a flowering bulb from central Asia that flowers in May and lasts 2-3 weeks. It will grow 24-36 inches tall with large, multi-flowered rounded umbels held on tall leafless stems. They bloom when the daffodils and tulips are done but before the perennials get started. They have the characteristic onion or garlic smell and make a good cut flower.

Plant the bulbs 4-6 inched deep and 4-6 inches apart in well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade in the fall for spring blooms. Use these bulbs in rock gardens, flower borders or in naturalized areas in small or large groupings. They are drought tolerant during the summer but appreciate some moisture when blooming. 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Allium.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Purple Sensation'
    Large clusters of purple flowers
'Purple Sensation'
Tags:
#purple#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#drought tolerant#perennial bulb#purple flowers#cut flowers#bedding plant#groundcover#rock gardens#spring interest#naturalized area#spring flowering bulbs
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Purple Sensation'
    Large clusters of purple flowers
'Purple Sensation'
Tags:
#purple#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#drought tolerant#perennial bulb#purple flowers#cut flowers#bedding plant#groundcover#rock gardens#spring interest#naturalized area#spring flowering bulbs
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    aflatunense
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees are attracted to the flowers. Deer and rodents ignore them.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought, normally not susceptible to animals
    Edibility:
    Flowers have a mildly bitter flavor and like young leaves can be eaten in small quantities raw in salads and sandwiches or cooked in tea and soups. However, the plant also has poisonous characteristics as noted in the "Poisonous to Humans" section of this record. Toxicity can depend on the age of the person or animal, the age of the plant, the part of the plant ingested, how much is ingested, whether the person or animal has sensitivities or allergies, whether it's eaten raw or cooked, and so forth. Consult with a medical professional for further details.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Edible
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Purple flowers are small, 6-parted, in a cluster at the top of a naked stem. Cluster is 4-5 inches across and last 2-3 weeks in May. Garlic or onion aroma, good cut flower.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal strap-like leaves are green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Hollow and slightly ribbed green leafless scapes (stems).
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sulfides
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems