For lack of a better named category, this page is set aside for those slender Allium species that don't really have full knobs of bloom as in the drumstick onion group, but rather has upright domed clusters of bloom. Some of these will belong to the Melanocrommyum section of the genus, that section best known for the tall "big ball" species, but the same section Melanocrommyum contains many smaller species with domed or conelike flower heads.
Allium atropurpureum is found in cultivated ground and dry open spaces throughout the Balkans. The flowers are dark, dark red-purple with black ovaries. The stems are about 24-30" (60 - 75 cm) and flower in late June. I've never succeeded in growing this from seed, so purchased bulbs gave me the jump-start I needed. Photo by Mark McDonough.
Allium darwasicum is another Central Asian species. This one intrigues me with its creamy white and green-striped flowers, but I like it mostly for the incredibly sweet candy-like scent. Photo by Mark McDonough.
Allium decipiens is one of many Central Asian species that is also found in China. It has glossy green lorate leaves held close to the ground, and tall stems to 3' (90 cm) with lovely domed clusters of pink to lilac starry blooms. The second photo shows the pink form of Allium nigrum in early anthesis and a single Allium decipiens bloom just behind. Photos by Mark McDonough.
Photos below by Wietse Mellema.
Allium nigrum is native to southern Europe, Asia and North Africa. Pictured below is a "pink form" (syn. Allium auctum) - Grown from seed, requiring 4-5 years to bloom from seed, this is one of the prettiest forms of the European melanocrommyum A. nigrum that I've grown. Very slow to increase but worth the wait. Photo by Mark McDonough.
Allium robustum - a little known (thus expensive) species, perhaps related to A. atropurpureum. In A. robustum the tight, domed heads are strikingly hued cherry red, noticeably dark wine red in bud, but opening to a lively cherry red when open. The central ovaries are dark grayish. Blooms in June, on stems that varied from 18"-24" (45-60 cm). Photo by Mark McDonough.
Allium winklerianum - from Central Asia to one province in China, this 2' tall (60 cm) melanocrommyum onion has deep pinkish-purple flowers, having an enticingly sweet candy-like scent. Tends to be a fussy grower and not long lived, but worth the effort to keep it going. Prefers dry, well drained situations. Photos from Mark McDonough and Arnold Trachtenberg.
Photo by RH.
Allium woronowii - One of the most beautiful of the melanocrommyum Allium species, this species is from Turkey and Armenia. It has sugary, two-toned, lilac-pink blooms that are intensely fragrant with the scent of carnations. It grows about 2' (60 cm) tall, and flowers in late spring. Photo by Mark McDonough.
Allium index - Allium flavum Relatives - American alliums A-B - American alliums C - American alliums D-F - American alliums G-H - American alliums I-M - American alliums N-R - American alliums S-Z - Big Ball alliums - Blue alliums - chives - Drumstick alliums - Miscellaneous alliums A-E - Miscellaneous alliums F-M - Miscellaneous alliums N-R - Miscellaneous alliums S-Z - Rhizomatous alliums