May 2008 Plant Profile: Allium schubertii

Ornamental tumbleweed onion

One of Ciscoe Morris’s picks is this early summer sparkler that’s starting to bloom  as we speak.Bed 6 is home to several flowering onions that begin to open in late may, but this species is the most impressive of all with it’s huge “beach ball” size inflorescence composed of over 200 florets. What’s striking of all is the fact that when the entire seedhead dries, it is still highly ornamental in the garden and, yes, looks like a starry tumbleweed, but far more decorative.
Family: Alliaceae
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean
Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: May-June, dried flowerhead can persist year round.
Bloom Color: Purple/pink
Sun: Full Sun
Water: Medium moisture, well drained soil