Monday, April 4, 2011

Allium hyalinum Paper-Flowered Onion

This plant spreads easily and can take over a whole bed. But it seems to be behaving itself in this situation at the UC Botanical Garden, where it is blooming now. It is acting like a sweet little wildflower along a rock edging. The flowers produce lots of nectar and attract bees and butterflies. Sometimes they are pinker than in these pics. And sometimes they are described as "glittery" or "glassy" but they just looked white to me.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

I'm glad to hear about this one. I suppose most onions attract butterflies, though for each species I'd like to know more about exactly which butterflies and to what degree. Allium hyalinum is easy to grow, even somewhat "invasive" in the garden, according to the horticultural treatment in the Jepson Manual ... a virtue to some of us. I understand it is more moisture-tolerant than many Californian native bulbs -- "this adaptable allium will accept summer irrigation in well-drained soils" according to Wild Lilies, Iries, and Grasses, Gardening with California Monocots -- which work also notes it may "seed heavily" ... I suppose one could probably could 'keep it under control'-- if one wanted to -- by dead-heading.