Allium cernuum

Allium cernuum


Allium cernuum, commonly called nodding wild onion, is distinguished from most other native alliums by the fact that its scapes crook sharply downward at the top just below the flower so that the flower umbel nods (hence the common name). Blooms in summer. All parts of this plant have an oniony smell when cut or bruised. Although the bulbs and leaves of this plant were once used in cooking or eaten raw, nodding onion is not generally considered to be of culinary value today.



Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. Best in full sun, but appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Best in sandy loams. Plants will naturalize by self-seeding and bulb offsets in optimum growing conditions. Deadhead flowers before seed sets to help control any unwanted spread. Foliage persists past flowering into late summer before dying back. Plants are easily grown from seed which should be planted in spring or from bulbs/bulb offsets which should be planted in autumn.


Type: Bulb

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Zone: 4 to 8

Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet

Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet

Bloom Time: June to August

Bloom Description: Pink

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Dry to medium

Maintenance: Low

Flower: Showy

Leaf: Fragrant

Attracts: Butterflies

Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut


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