Growing Ornamental Allium
The ornamental alliums vary greatly in size from some which are only a few inches high to others which are several feet. Many different colours are available varying from pure white to deep purple. All produce ball-shaped flower heads freely from May to July, some being solid, others tasselled. They thrive almost anywhere. The taller species are very showy in borders and shrubberies, the smaller growing ones being ideal for theor front of the border. Some can be used in long lasting flower arrangements and none of them will give off their onion smell unless bruised.
Plant thein the autumn, covering them with two to three times their own depth with soil. The smaller growing species can be planted 2 to 3 in. apart, the larger ones 8 to 9 in.
Among the best species isaflatunense, the Powder Puff, which produces dense rounded heads of lilac-purple flowers on 2 to 3-ft. stems.
albopilosum, sometimes known as the Butterflies’ Haven, has heads of starry lilac flowers which are as much as 10 to 12 in. across on 2-ft. stems.
Allium caeruleum, 2 ft., produces globular heads of cornflower blue.
Allium moly is an old garden favourite with bluish-green leaves. Sometimes known as the Golden, it has umbels of yellow flowers on 10 to 12-in. stems.
Allium neapolitanum, which is 15 in. high, produces heads of sweetly scented white flowers. This species can also be forced.
Allium ostrowskianum has carmine-pink flowers on 6-in. stems making it ideal for the rock garden.