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ALLIUM karataviense

Image of Allium karataviense

Russell Stafford

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

ALLIUM karataviense

Plant Common Name

Turkestan Onion

General Description

The Turkestan onion is a perennial onion bulb grown both for its late-spring to summer blooming globes of pale pink flowers and its pairs of long, grayish-purple leaves which grow almost horizontally. Unlike most ornamental onions, the Turkestan onion keeps its leaves even while in flower. However, all onions lose their foliage in even the mildest winter climates. As a member of the onion family, this plant releases the familiar pungent fragrance when its leaves or stems are crushed. It is native to central Asia where it grows in well-drained soil in full sun.

Plant this bulb in the autumn four inches deep (10 cm)in fertile, neutral soil. Take care to plant it in well-drained, even sandy soil, since the bulb can rot if planted in wet soil. Onions are drought tolerant once they are established. Ornamental onions have a tendency to self-sow; lift and divide the clumps only when they become crowded. Plant Turkestan onion in a mixed bed or rock garden. The muted foliage and pink flowers provide a soothing contrast to hot-colored flowers and deep green foliage of other summer blooming plants.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    4"-10" / 10.2cm - 25.4cm

  • Width

    6"-9" / 15.2cm - 22.9cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Central Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Light Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Purple, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Purple, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Edging, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes