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ALLIUM ampeloprasum

Image of Allium ampeloprasum

International Flower Bulb Centre

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

ALLIUM ampeloprasum

Plant Common Name

American Flag Leek, Broadleaf Wild Leek

General Description

Grown for its showy flower heads on tall stems, this ancestor of the cultivated leek is a bulbous perennial from stony or sandy habitats in northern Africa, southern Europe, Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus. It may also be the parent of elephant garlic.

Growing from a rounded, yellowish, edible bulb that produces numerous offsets, this ornamental onion has long, grass-like leaves that clasp the base of the tall solitary flowering stem. A large spherical umbel of pink, purplish red, or white flowers crowns the stem in late spring and early summer, attracting bees and butterflies. The umbels sometimes contain small bulbs, known as bulbils. The leaves shrivel before the flowers open. Small papery tan capsules follow the flowers, containing black seeds.

Plant this bulb in full sun and fertile, well drained soil at a depth of two or three times its width. This ornamental onion is a natural for the herb or vegetable garden, but also works well in purely ornamental plantings. Its variety babingtonii bears numerous bulbils, some of which flower while still in the umbel.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-5' / 0.6m - 1.5m

  • Width

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Purple, Pink, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes