Plant of the Month for October 2014

Allium cernuum

Description and General Information:

 Allium cernuum, commonly called the nodding onion, is native to the western half of North America from Ontario to British Columbia and New York south to Georgia and west to Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.  In the wild is occurs in dry woods, rocky outcrops and short-grass prairie.

Plants grow 30-45 cm with nodding clusters of pink, rose-purple or white. Their leaves are narrow and grass-like with a distinct onion-like fragrance when bruised.


Nodding onion is quite easy in cultivation.  While often found on alkaline substrates, it can tolerate moderately acidic soil.  It does prefer full sun and well-drained soil.  It is hardy from zone 9 through to zone 3.

Blooming Period:

June to August


Seeds, division


Sow at 20 C; seeds should germinate within 3 months. Alternatively, seeds may be sown in pots in fall and left outside for the winter, freely germinating in spring.


Dig plants in early spring and separate into smaller clumps.


No commonly practiced.


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