What do onions, shallots, chives, garlic and an estimated 750 species of beautiful plants all have in common? They are all types of allium, the diverse plant that has been cultivated throughout human history. Today, most alliums are grown as ornamental plants, and for good reason: They make a great early summer plant –modern, elegant, colorful and long-lasting.
A wide variety of alliums can brighten up any drought-tolerant garden, too. These sturdy plants will grow in almost any well-drained soil, and if you’re looking to create a natural barrier in your garden they’re just the thing: their long blooms create a great wall effect and their love of sunlight makes them perfect for a sunny lawn or garden.
Here are some of the most notable alliums that we love to use:
Purple Sensation: The deep purples this allium produces will catch anyone’s eye. Purple Sensation is 2 ½-feet tall which makes it ideal for lining a walkway. The dazzling 3-inch-wide globes arrive in the late spring and early summer. Place Purple Sensation in a sunny area and it will thrive.
Globemaster: Lighter in color than Purple Sensation, their heads can be as big and as round as a softball (or a globe). Globemasters can bloom in late spring and reach as high as 4-feet tall.
Mount Everest: A popular variety, this white bloom is truly majestic. Their heads are the size of a baseball, and they can grow to be 3-feet tall.
Drumstick Allium: The Drumstick’s head is the size of an egg, making it the perfect demure flower for arrangements. Also, the purple and green coloring of this allium allows it to mesh well with other flowers and greens.
Allium Siculum: This beautiful cluster of drooping bells is native to southern France, mainland Italy and Asia Minor. It blooms from May to early June, making their season much shorter than other alliums. The cream-colored bells have a maroon streak running down each petal, which links to a green base with a 3-1/2-foot-tall stem.
We love using alliums in our garden screen arrangements — their clean-lined stems make modern arrangements turn beautiful and breathtaking. Even The Knot has said they might be the coolest flowers ever. Also, their love of sunlight and low water usage makes them a hearty flower that will be sure to draw the attention of your guests all summer long!