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Ornamental Onion Allium karataviense

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um kar-ah-taw-vee-EN-say
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This ornamental onion is grown for its flowers and foliage. It is native to Asia and is found in forests and natural areas. In May-June a 10-12 inch tall stem grows from each pair of leaves with a 3-6 inch cluster of mildly fragrant light pink star-shaped flowers. The basal leaves are up to 9 inches long and 3 inches wide in pairs and often are mottled with purple. The leaves and bulbs have an onion aroma when bruised. Bulbs will make bulblets and can be divided as needed. They can also seed but won't bloom until the 3rd year.

Plant the bulbs in fall for spring blooms in well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. Plant 5 inches deep and 6-12 inches apart. Use in a rock garden, woodland garden, mass planted or in borders. Resistant to deer and rabbits.

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

More information on Allium.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Ivory Queen'
'Ivory Queen'
Tags:
#sun#bulb#poisonous#full sun#drought tolerant#lavender#lilac#perennial bulb#pink flowers#lilac flowers#bedding plant#plant in fall#rock gardens#groups#spring interest#spring flowering bulbs#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Ivory Queen'
'Ivory Queen'
Tags:
#sun#bulb#poisonous#full sun#drought tolerant#lavender#lilac#perennial bulb#pink flowers#lilac flowers#bedding plant#plant in fall#rock gardens#groups#spring interest#spring flowering bulbs#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    karataviense
    Family:
    Alliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central Asia
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    normally not susceptible to animals, drought
    Edibility:
    EDIBLE PARTS: Leaves, bulbs, and bulblets. 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
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers can be lilac to pink in color. Flowers are small, 6-parted, and in a cluster at the top of a naked stem. . Flowers in May to June and lasts 2-3 weeks.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    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:
    Leaves are flat and 6-9 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Often mottled with purple.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    10-12 inch stout green stem
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Poisonous through ingestion. (Poison parts: All parts; bulbs, bulblets, flowers, and stems.)
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sulfides
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems