The time period “allium” applies to a variety of crops belonging to the Allium genus. They hail from the amaryllis household (Amaryllidaceae) however are greatest identified for his or her use within the kitchen, particularly garlic, onions, and chives.
But most alliums are extremely decorative in nature and are wonderful companion crops.
Let’s take a second to take a look at many various alliums and get an thought of how these fantastic crops can be utilized to boost virtually any backyard.
Allium Varieties: Varieties Of Allium Crops
There are numerous methods to categorize alliums, comparable to bloom time or hardiness zones, however to debate their position in numerous backyard settings, we’ll deal with completely different sizes.
That stated, the subject of alliums is relatively sophisticated, so we’ll have to start by figuring out alliums from imposters.
Is It An Allium?
There is no such thing as a particular taxonomy for alliums, which means this genus can have anyplace between 260 and 979 completely different species, relying on who you speak to.
Nevertheless, the frequent thread tends to be the faint garlic odor produced by alliums, which can be apparent or solely seem when the plant is bruised or broken.
This scent permits them to repel many frequent backyard pests, from dangerous bugs to deer whereas attracting pollinators.
That is additionally an important distinction, as many species on the market resemble alliums in look however lack the particular odor.
Many alliums are considerably poisonous to canines and infrequently extremely poisonous to cats when consumed, however they’re normally protected for people (though we wouldn’t recommend attempting to eat one which isn’t generally utilized in cooking).
That stated, these imposters ARE poisonous to people and lack the backyard advantages of alliums, so it’s greatest to keep away from them in favor of the actual factor.
Keep in mind, you’ll be able to inform the distinction between an allium and an allium imposter, such because the loss of life camas (Toxicoscordion venenosum), just by bruising the plant and taking a sniff (though there are a number of notable exceptions to this rule).
Let’s start by trying on the smaller alliums (i.e., these below 2’ ft tall)
These alliums are nice for borders and mixing in with different small crops whereas offering the identical companion advantages as greater alliums.
This hybrid was created by Mark McDonough and produces clumps which are typically 1′ to 1.5′ ft tall and extensive.
From June to August, 2″ inch spherical, rosy purple, globe-shaped umbels seem on stalks bringing the full top to 18″ to twenty″ inches, whereas the foliage stays a lot decrease, 6″ to 12″ inches excessive.
Drumstick Allium (Allium Sphaerocephalum)
Reaching as much as 20” inches tall when in bloom and located natively all through a lot of Europe, Drumstick allium provides a beautiful accent each July.
The blooms include tons of of reddish-purple flowers packed right into a sphere to oval as much as 2.3” inches throughout.
Notice that different allium species are additionally nicknamed “drumstick allium” and have the same dimension and form to this one.
Yellow-Flowered Garlic (Allium Flavum)
This tiny allium is among the many most beloved as a result of its umbels of golden bell-shaped flowers, with as many as 60 flowers per stalk.
Regardless of this, the plant solely grows to a minuscule 4″ to 12″ inches tall with a 2″ to three″ inch unfold and has a large zone vary of 4 to 10, making it particularly standard in borders and as a container plant.
Another notable alliums on this dimension ranges embody:
- Woman’s Lewek (Allium cernuum)
- Lily Leek (Allium moly)
- Oneleaf Onion (Allium unifolium)
- Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum)
- Turkestan Onion (Allium karataviense)
Coming in at 2′ to three′ ft tall, medium alliums are simply the appropriate top vary to slot in each borders and backgrounds and between when making a tiered show.
This 2′ to three′ foot tall cultivar grows in zones 4 to eight and has received quite a few awards.
The secrets and techniques to this success are the huge 10″ inch globes stuffed with purple flowers that final from late spring into early summer time.
Allium Hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’
This award-winning cultivar could be grown in zones 4 to 9 and lives as much as its identify.
At 2′ to three′ ft tall and as much as 2′ ft extensive, this plant will produce 3″ inch-wide, completely spherical inflorescences from late spring into early summer time that consists of tiny violet-purple star-shaped flowers.
Add to that the 6 to eight blue-green strap-shaped leaves, and it’s no marvel it’s so standard!
Showy Persian Onion (Allium Rosenbachianum)
Whereas its vary is comparatively small (zones 6 to 9), this 2′ to three’ foot tall allium is definitely worth the effort to develop in containers elsewhere.
It blooms two weeks sooner than different late spring alliums, bearing 4” inch globes of deep purple star-shaped flowers.
However the distinguished white stamens make these long-lived blooms stand aside, which supplies them a snow-tipped look.
Just a few different nice mid-sized alliums embody:
- Allium ‘Firmament’
- Allium ‘Mount Everest’
- Persian Flowering Onion (Allium aflatunense)
In case you’re in search of a present, we’ve saved a number of the greatest for final.
Alliums which are greater than 3’ ft tall could be actual showstoppers with huge flowerheads, both built-in right into a show of equally tall flowers or left to tower above a smaller show of decorative grasses or flowers.
Allium ‘His Excellency’
Reaching 4′ to five′ ft tall and bearing 5″ inch globes of densely-packed violet-blue star-shaped flowers, this allium cultivar provides any house a regal aptitude.
When planted in zones 4 to eight, the blooms seem from late spring into early summer time.
It’s not unusual to see this one planted in teams alongside borders to offer a daring assertion.
Big Onion (Allium Giganteum)
Towering above all others, Big OnionGiant Onion has a 1″ to 2′ foot unfold and could be grown in zones 6 to 10.
From late spring to early summer time, this 5′ to six′ foot tall plant produces stunning 5″ to six″ inch extensive globes of lilac-purple star-shaped flowers.
Sicilian Honey Garlic (Allium Siculum)
This lovable allium ranges from 3′ to 4′ ft in top with a 1′ to 2′ ft meals unfold and is true at residence in zones 5 to 10.
It bears bell-shaped flowers from Might into early June, gently drooping from lengthy pedicels, with cream petals marked by a single maroon streak down the center of every, flared ideas, and a greenish base.
The foliage is blue-gray and, regardless of the sweet-sounding identify, may give off a robust musk when the plant is lower.
For extra tall alliums, think about including the next:
- Allium ‘Gladiator’
- Allium ‘Mont Blanc’
Black Garlic (Allium nigrum) – one of many only a few alliums that lack a scent