NODDING ONION

Allium cernuum

Nodding Onion, Allium cernuum  flaunts showy clusters of numerous, dusty-pink flowers that are so big compared to its stem that they appear to be nodding.

This wild onion is host to hair-streak butterfly caterpillars and a nectar source for many insects. At the same time its grass-like leaves also can act as a repellent for garden pests. All parts of the plant; leaves, bulbs and bulblets are all edible and pungent.

Hardy and gorgeous in sunny, exposed and/or rocky areas and is one of the few species that will tolerate growing beneath a black walnut tree. Though it prefers soils that are moist but well-drained, it can be exceptionally drought tolerant. As an edible plant, whose grasslike green leaves repel garden pests, it’s a natural addition near your veggie garden! It is a striking, yet small plant – so be sure to plant it in multiples to get the full effect. It makes an excellent border when planted densely along an edge. It can reseed, but the seeds will take many years to become a new flowering plant.

SPECS: Genus: Allium ; Species: Cernuum; Plant Type: Herb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade; Soil Moisture: Medium Wet, Mesic (middle), Medium Dry, Well Drained; Height: 1′; Spread: 2′; Plant Spacing: 1′; Bloom Time: May — July; Bloom Color: Green, Lavender, Pink, Purple; Advantages: Fragrant; USDA Zone: 4 — 8; Attracts: Beeflies, Beneficial insects, Bumblebees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds; Tolerant: Drought, Dry soils, Rocky soil, Wet soils; Plant Community: Competes well in the garden among others such as purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Stokes’ aster (Stokesia laevis), American asters (Symphyotrichum spp.), and goldenrods (Solidago.spp.) In the open woodland garden, it combines nicely with American alumroot (Heuchera americana) and New York fern (Parathelypteris noveboracensis). ;