Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Purple allium
Purple allium

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 2-24, 29-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Allium giganteum

Giant Allium
Liliaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

ALLIUM

About 500 species, all from the Northern Hemisphere, many from the mountains of the West. Relatives of the edible onion, they are peerless as cut flowers (fresh or dried) and useful in borders; smaller kinds are effective in rock gardens. Bear small flowers in roundish, compact or loose clusters at ends of leafless stems that range in height from 6 in. to 5 ft. or taller. Many are delightfully fragrant; those with onion odor must be bruised or cut to give it off. Bloom in spring or summer, with flowers in white and shades of pink, rose, violet, red, blue, and yellow.

All prefer well-drained soil (preferably on the sandy side), enriched before planting with organic matter. In fall or spring, plant bulbs as deep as their heigh or width, whichever is greater. Space smaller species 4–6 in. apart, larger ones 8–12 in. apart. Cut back on watering or let soil go dry when foliage begins to yellow after flowering. Foliage dies to the ground, even in mild-winter areas. Lift and divide only after clumps become crowded.

Allium giganteum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Allium giganteum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

Click to Enlarge

Allium giganteum

Summer bloomer bearing spectacular softball-size clusters of bright lilac ­flowers on stems to 5 ft. or taller. Leaves are 1 1/2 ft. long and 2 in. wide.

You Might Also Like...

Delosperma nubigenum

Only 1 in. tall, spreading to 3 ft. The cylindrical leaves turn red in fall and winter, green up again...

Miscanthus sinensis

Native to Japan, Korea, and China. Variable in size and foliage. Blooms in late summer or fall. Flower...

Cotoneaster dammeri

Evergreen. Fast, prostrate growth to 8 in. high and 10 ft. wide. Branches root along the ground. Leave...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement