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Bald-Head Onion Allium sphaerocephalon

Previously known as:

  • Allium sphaerocephalum
Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um sfay-roh-SEF-ah-lon
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Drumstick is a bulbous herb that flowers in late spring to early summer and lasts 3-4 weeks. The plant is 30-40 inches tall with a small, densely packed umbel of small flowers. It tolerates summer drought, but keep it moist during the growing season. The plant is normally not susceptible to mammals and has an onion/garlic type aroma. It is native to Eurasia. Spreads by offsets, seeds and bulblets.

Plant 4-5 inches deep and 2-3 inches apart in well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. Use in borders, rock gardens or scatter among your perennials.

 

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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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#red#sun#bulb#poisonous#full sun#drought tolerant#perennial bulb#purple flowers#red flowers#cut flowers#spring flowers#dried flowers#bedding plant#summer flowers#Tunicated bulb#deer resistant#borders#spring interest#edible#cool season vegetable#spring flowering bulbs
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#red#sun#bulb#poisonous#full sun#drought tolerant#perennial bulb#purple flowers#red flowers#cut flowers#spring flowers#dried flowers#bedding plant#summer flowers#Tunicated bulb#deer resistant#borders#spring interest#edible#cool season vegetable#spring flowering bulbs
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    sphaerocephalon
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, northern Africa, western Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Deer and rabbit resistive
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    normally not susceptible to animals, drought
    Edibility:
    Flowers, stems bulbs are edible. 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
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    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
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers emerge green and mature to reddish-purple in a 1 inch wide umbel that opens top to bottom and resembles clover flowers. The flowering period is from very late spring to early summer for 3-4 weeks. Flowers are small, 6-parted, and in a cluster at the top of a naked stem. The plant smells of garlic or onion. Bulblets sometimes form after flowering.
  • 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 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Round, hollow, grassy, gray-green leaves up to 14" long form a foliage clump in spring. The plant smells of garlic or onion.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous if ingested. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. (Poison parts: All parts; bulbs, bulblets, flowers, and stems).
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sulfides
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems