Name: Allium species and hybrids
Type of Plant: A bulb that produces round flowers on the tops of tall stems in the late-spring or early-summer. There are several species and hybrids available. Some have open, lacy flowers and others have full, globes of flowers. Stems vary from 2’ tall up to 6’ tall!
Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love these in the late-spring garden because they add height in a time when most perennials are short. The white or purple flowers blend beautifully with other plants that are in flower at this time of year, and they dance in the breeze on long, strong stems. As the flowers go by, the combination of the remaining purple or white flowers with the developing green seeds is also beautiful, and even the dried stem with its fireworks explosion of seeds is beautiful.
These make great cutting flowers for tall, dramatic arrangements and the dried seed-heads are lovely when placed in bottles indoors.
A Word to the Wise: Don’t worry if your Allium plant seems to be dying before the blooms open. The foliage of most alliums starts to wilt just as the flower stem is coming up, and this is natural. Plant these Allium behind early perennials such as Nepeta to hide the browning leaves.
Buy Allium bulbs in the fall and plant them in October for a great show of flowers the following May and June.