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Allium cuthbertii

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um kuth-BERT-ee-eye
Description

Cuthbert's Onion is a perennial bulb in the lily family commonly found in sandhills and Piedmont and rock outcroppings. It blooms in May-June and then dies down in the summer. It can be identified by the bulb that has cross-hatch fibrous scales and the flowers that have a crested ovary and capsule. It is a NC threatened species.

Cuthbert's Onion is more heat-tolerant than Nodding Onion and grows in poor and rocky soils or soils with good drainage in full sun to partial shade. 

 

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

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Tags:
#NC native#summer bulbs#pollinator plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#native bulb#food source bulbs#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#threaten species#spring flowering bulbs#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#NC native#summer bulbs#pollinator plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#native bulb#food source bulbs#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#threaten species#spring flowering bulbs#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    cuthbertii
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE USA
    Distribution:
    NC, SC, AL, GA, FL
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract pollinators.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    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
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a capsule with shiny seeds from June to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White, pink, and purple flowers bloom from May to June in clusters of star-shaped blooms that have a crested ovary and capsule
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    4-13 inch long grass-like leaves with entire or dentate margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Description:
    Solitary, erect, green stems that are round to angled
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds