June 5th, 2002
Allium sphaerocephalon

Plant Profile: Allium sphaerocephalon

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 2, 2002 Austin Texas zone 8

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 5, 2002 Austin Texas zone 8

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 5, 2002 Austin Texas zone 8

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 11, 2002. As the drumsticks fully open they develop the shape that gave them their name.

The drumstick onions take forever to unfurl. I’m always disappointed in the beginning and then end up being won over by their odd charms.

From the catalog description: Deep pink-reddish flowers. Height 32 inches. Late spring flowering. Plant 6 inches deep and 3 inches apart.

Zanthan Gardens History

Planted the ornamental drumstick onions that I purchased from Dutch Gardens.

Sprouted. (About 1 week).

Rapidly attained a height of 10 to 12 inches with dark, straight, narrow leaves. They have a much neater habit than the A. neapolitanum and for that reason, I prefer them in the meadow. However, they weren’t supposed to bloom until late summer or fall. I was hoping they would replace the larkspur, But they are up before the larkspur and I might have to pull any larkspur I planted there so that it doesn’t compete and overshadow them.

First flowers. On stems 30 to 36 inches tall. They tease for a long time in bud, then lose a papery case around the flowers and turn a lovely reddish-purple from the top down. They are very strange-looking and I like them.

This year the first flowers began well after all the spring annuals had faded. Supplemental watering has lengthened the bloom period and resulted in larger flower heads.

Dig up one clump that was weedy and divide and replant it. The leaves are about 8 inches long and the roots are well-established, but they didn’t seem to mind the transplanting very much.

by M Sinclair Stevens

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