Drumstick allium (A. sphaerocephalon) (shown at left)
Native to southern Europe and Asia Minor, this unusual variety has small, compact purple-maroon, egg-shaped flowerheads atop wiry, 70-centimetre-tall stems in July.
Allium ‘Globemaster’ (shown on page 1)
Each 25-centimetre globe comprises more than 1,000 lavender florets on sturdy one-metre-tall stalks. The flowers last for up to four weeks, beginning in late May.
A. ‘Ivory Queen’
Silvery white globes hover over grey-green foliage in June on stems ranging from 10 to 20 centimetres high.
A. ‘Mount Everest’
Growing to a height of 100 centimetres or more, this variety has a 15-
centimetre-wide cap of long-lasting, frosty white flowers in May and June.
A. ‘Purple Sensation’ (shown at left)
This show-stopper has 15-centimetre puffballs of violet-purple florets atop 90-centimetre-tall stems in early May to late June.
This variety produces cornflower blue blooms on round, five-centimetre clusters atop 30-centimetre-high stems in June.
Egyptian walking onion (A. cepa ‘Proliferum’)
Clumps of bulblets are formed on 60-centimetre-high stems that fall over in late summer—due to the weight of the bulblets—which produces more onion sets.
Nodding onion (A. cernuum)
White to light pink or rich amethyst flowers are suspended on 60-centimetre-tall stalks that curve at the tips in July and August. Garlic-flavoured, strap-like foliage can be used like garlic chives. Drought-tolerant once established. Zone 5.
Stars of Persia (A. cristophii) (shown at left)
A Turkestan native, it produces 25-centimetre-wide flowerheads of shiny, star-shaped, silvery amethyst florets on 60-centimetre-tall stems. Blooms in June.
Native to Turkestan, this dwarf allium is noted for its low-growing plumpish profile. Fuzzy-looking, beige-pink flowers appear in clusters up to 30 centimetres across on stiff stems that reach 20 centimetres tall and sport grey-purple leaves.
Golden garlic (A. moly)
Dense umbels of bright golden yellow flowers adorn 30-centimetre-tall stems, with blue-green leaves; this southern European native flowers in June.
Another Turkestan native, this low-growing species inhabits screes (mountainous slopes covered with loose stones) and rocky places.
This allium has deep carmine-pink flowers on 15- to 25-centimetre-tall stems in June.
Chives (A. schoenoprasum) (shown above)
Produce attractive, edible lavender flowers in July; sweet, mild onion flavour. Butterflies love them.
This 35-centimetre-high, mid-season variety has a charming loose umbel of bell-shaped, rosy pink flowers.