Allium cernuum

Allium cernuum

Nodding Onion

  • Full sun to light shade
  • Medium wet to medum dry soil
  • 18" to 24" tall, 4" to 8" spacing
  • Ontario Native, Beginner Friendly, Happy in meadows and open woodlands, as well as cultivated gardens.

A summer flowering Onion, native to sunny, dry sites in Ontario.

These came to the Perth gardens from two sources, a couple of pots from a native plant nursery near Peterborough and the rest grown from seed from Gardens North.

The ones from the nursery had multiplied through offsets enough after three years that, when I lifted and separated them last spring, there were roughly 25 individual plants between the two clumps. The seed grown ones, which weren’t coddled at all (poor things were left growing in a tight clump for their entire first year) began blooming last summer, at about 3 years of age. I suspect that they would have matured earlier with a bit more space at the start.  Either way, these mature and spread more quickly than some other Ontario members of the Allium family.

Their nodding umbels of pink flowers are popular with bees. While I haven’t caught the moment on camera, I’ve seen big fuzzy bumblebees dangling from their little blooms on more than one occasion.

Very early to emerge, their greens can add a bit of spring to in the kitchen as soon as the snow melts in the garden.

If they are in a location where they are happy and free to self-seed, this is a species that could sustain light foraging more readily than, the so often over harvested, wild leeks.

They grow to around 18” tall and are often recommended for rock gardens but will thrive in any well drained, or even dry, sandy loam site with plenty of sunshine. Neighbours that would enjoy a similar setting include Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Orange Butterfly Weed, Silverweed, Grey Goldenrod, Heath Aster, Pearly Everlasting, Rudbeckia hirta. Lewis' Wild Blue Flax, Prairie Smoke, Blue Eyed Grass, Little Bluestem and Junegrass.

The Online Plant Nursery will re-open for orders on Tuesday, May 17th

Pickups will begin the following week.

I will be offering plug sized plants for $1.25 each or 5 for $5. 

I'm in the process of adding species that I expect to offer this spring to the listings since they are starting to germinate and I'm starting to get an idea of which will be available in abundant quantities.

Since the list is much longer this year I've added several categories to help narrow down your options based on a variety of criteria.

For those who have already adopted seedlings, planting instructions can be found here.