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Nodding Onion – Allium cernuum


A charming member of the Allium, or onion family, this native has a pungent fragrance when crushed and can be used like chives, safe to eat in small quantities. Star-like blossoms in shades of cream, pale pink, and light lavender dangle from each hooked stem, the downward facing umbels are the plant’s namesake. Its dainty appearance belies its tough character, a good candidate for harsh garden sites, culture is easy as long as site is well-drained. Leaves are narrow and grass-like. Grows from a bulb and forms clumps, naturalizing easily. This is cool season perennial. Plants usually go dormant in summer after blooming, and leaves disappear until cool weather returns. Attracts butterflies, of special value to native bees, but repulsive to deer! Insects that nectar here must be able to hang upside down.

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