More tolerant of part shade conditions than most Aliums, Allium ursinum (Wild Garlic) is a vigorous, bulbous perennial with loose umbels, 2 in. across (5 cm), counting up to 20 star-shaped white flowers. The blossoms are borne on erect, leafless stems and rise above pairs of elliptic, linear, deep green basal leaves. If bruised or crushed, the foliage exudes a strong onion or garlic aroma. Blooming in mid spring to early summer, Wild Garlic may be grown for both ornamental and culinary uses since both its leaves and flowers are edible.
- Growing up to 6-12 in. high (15-30 cm), this species spreads by rhizomes and self-seeding, and over time can form large colonies!
- Easily grown in fertile, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Drought tolerant.
- Attracts butterflies, but deer ignore it!
- Stunning when planted in drifts in wild or naturalized areas.
- Propagate by seed or division.
- Native to Europe, Russia
Many hundreds of Allium species exist, but only a modest few have made a name for themselves as garden plants. The ornamental onions distinguish themselves by their great diversity in color, inflorescence and flowering height. Many species bloom in early summer - just after the spring-flowering period and just before the exuberant full bloom of summer. All species can be used in the border. Certain small species are just perfect for a rock garden, and several lend themselves to naturalizing.