A Stellar Perennial for Your Garden
Autumn can be a very dull and boring time in the garden. You miss all of the colorful plants that have delighted you spring and summer while you're busy deadheading or collecting seeds. The memories of the flowers you've enjoyed are just that—you're wishing there were perennials that would bring you color and joy this time of year and, well, your wish has come true. The "Plant Genie" wishes to acquaint you with Allium stellatum. Commonly known as "Prairie Onion" and "Autumn Onion," Allium stellatum is a native, fall-blooming perennial bulb that will grow happily anywhere in the U.S.
Their long lasting, 2- to 3-inch lavender/pink, star like blooms seem to explode like fireworks at the tip of their slender 12- to 18-inch arching stems. They look vital for several weeks and make wonderful cut flowers.
In my garden, I have found that full sun to light shade is their preference with average to dry soil. Allium stellatum seems to have no insect, pest, or disease problems. And you need not worry about Bambi or any other critters bothering them either—the deer don't find any members of the Allium family appealing. Rock gardens, meadows, native plant gardens, naturalized areas, cottage gardens, or borders are excellent homes for this extremely easy-to-grow perennial bulb.
Allium stellatum produces new bulbs each growing season, and you can even grow them from seed, although since it takes several years to get a flowering size bulb from seed, division is the best method to build a colony quickly.
It's just one of those unknown, underused, easy to grow, long lived plants that will always bring you joy as your plantings gracefully increase in size every year.
I hope to see Allium stellatum in your garden soon.
Barry Glick, the self-proclaimed “King of Helleborus,” grew up in Philadelphia in the 1960s, a Mecca of horticulture. Barry cut high school classes and hitchhiked to Longwood Gardens before he was old enough to drive. In 1972, he realized there was just not enough room for him and his plants in the big-city environment, so he bought 60 acres of a mountaintop in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, where he gave birth to Sunshine Farm & Gardens, a mail-order plant nursery. Barry grows more than 10,000 different plants and specializes in native plants and hellebores. He can be reached at 304.497.2208 or email@example.com.