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ALLIUM schubertii

Image of Allium schubertii

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

ALLIUM schubertii

Plant Common Name

Schubert's Onion, Tumbleweed Onion

General Description

Few alliums can match the stellar, celestial majesty of the gigantic flowers Schubert's Onion produces in late spring. Its enormous, delicate, radial umbels of starry silvery purple flowers can reach the size of a soccer ball. The flower stalks in the head are of different lengths, giving the spidery blooms even more depth and interest. This hardy perennial bulb originates from the Mediterranean and Central Asia.

The large oniony bulb of this allium produces a basal clump of bright green, lance-shaped leaves in spring. These have a pungent, oniony fragrance when crushed. The giant flowerheads are produced in late spring or early summer and consist of an umbel of many six-petaled, starry flowers of luminescent pale purple. The flowers are great for cutting. Only one will fill a vase. After flowering and fruit set, the foliage will die back to the ground until the following spring.

Grow this unique ornamental onion in full sun and well-drained, sandy loam. It should be planted in fall to a depth of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm.). Reduce watering when the foliage starts to fade. Plant this dramatic beauty in groups in a large mixed border or rock garden.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    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, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    12"-15" / 30.5cm - 38.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Mediterranean, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Lavender, Silver

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Yellow 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

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No