Two onion notes

Jim McKenney
Thu, 04 Jun 2009 14:22:13 PDT
Allium obliiquum is blooming now, and again this year I want to mention it,
if only to encourage others to champion this cool plant. It’s usually
described as a yellow flowering onion, and while that’s literally true, the
yellow is a very pale yellow. And I don’t grow it for its flower color. I
grow it because it is, in effect, a miniature hard-neck garlic. Hard neck
garlics, traditionally called Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon
(ophioscorodon “means” snake garlic) , produce very ornamental curled,
curving scapes. There are worth space in the garden for that alone. Little
Allium obliquum brings the same effect in a somewhat smaller plant. Mine are
about two feet high. 

Now on to another favorite, this one unfortunately to be discussed in the
past tense. For several years now I’ve mentioned that Allium caeruleum seems
to require a dry summer under our conditions. It’s one of the least
expensive flowering onions, and one of the most ornamental, yet I’ve never
seen broad masses of it naturalized in local garden.  And for years I
covered my plants against summer rain. By last summer my plants had
multiplied into the hundreds from a start with perhaps two dozen.  Last
year, in an experimental mood, I did not cover them. This year they are not
there. I’m tempted to go on in the sadder but wiser theme, but I’ll stop

Onions have great powers. Fro another example, read “Dead rat story” here:

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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