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August 2010
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Allium stellatum (Prairie Onion or Fall Glade Onion)

Allium stellatum, known as Prairie Onion or Fall Glade Onion, is an excellent choice for the rock garden. The species name stellatum is botanical name for “starry”, and refers to the umbels. The attractiveness of this flower is created by delightfully impressive clusters of deep reddish pink flowers atop 12-18 inch stems. Each small flower has 6 pointed star-like petals, with 6 yellow stamens that extend beyond the petals providing beautiful color contrast. Plant grows well in average, well drained soil in full sun. The bloom period is from August to September. This native wildflower is an excellent addition to the rock garden and is not invasive. The green leaves appear in spring and die back as the flowering stalks appear. Umbels of rose-pink to lavender flowers form erect, 3-4 in. wide balls.
It is a perennial in the Lily family and is a native of North America. The bulbs from which the stellatum grows are strongly flavored but can be eaten.
Alliums are members of the onion family. Among the best known Alliums are chives, onions, garlic, and shallot. This hardy, easy to grow flowering bulb comes in a wide variety of colors, heights and blooming times. Big, multi-floriated, round blooms are produced atop of a tall, sturdy spike. In general, they bloom from late spring to early summer. Prairie onion attracts butterflies. Leaves, bulbs and bulblets can be used for food. Early explorers ate them, and they were also used by the American settlers to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, and to repel insects.

Growing conditions of Allium Plants

• Ornamental Onions, or Alliums, are grown from bulbs.
• The flower head also produces seeds, but most gardeners plant the easy to handle bulbs.
• Plant Allium bulbs in the soil in the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked.
• Plant them to a depth of twice the diameter of the bulb.
• If planting Allium seeds, sow them directly into the garden.
• Plant the seeds just 1/8″ deep.
• Average Spacing 6 to 12Inches between the plants is required.
• They like full sun to partial shade.
• They tolerate poor soils, but prefer it to be well drained.

Care for Allium

• They like full sun to partial shade.
• They tolerate poor soils, but prefer it to be well drained.
• Adding a general purpose fertilizer once in early spring is beneficial.
• Keep the soil moist to slightly dry.
• Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.
• Keep them well weeded, or apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the plants.
• Allium plants should come back yearly for many years.
• Alliums make good cut flowers. But, they will give off a slight onion scent
• Alliums have few insect or disease problems.

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