Alliums and butterflies

Tony Avent
Thu, 30 Aug 2007 05:27:56 PDT

I have an allium question and that concerns their attraction to 
butterflies.  While we see insects feeding on all the flowering alliums, 
only one is loaded with butterflies every year, and that is your Allium 
'Millenium'.   Any thoughts why this cultivar seems to be a particular 

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent wrote:
> John T Lonsdale <> wrote:
>> Mark - you gave me a bulb of A. traubii about 4 years ago and I grew it in a 
>> pot for the first 2 years.  It has been outside in my most protected bed 
>> since then and come through two winters unscathed.  I just completely remade 
>> that bed and was pleased to find one good-sized, healthy bulb of A. traubii 
>> - it hasn't increased in number but is bigger.
> I had forgotten that I gave you a bulb of this, and glad I did, and I hope you one bulb prospers.  This demonstrates the importance of sharing plants with friends... maybe someday you'll need a few seeds or a bulb back.  As to planting out my Mexican Alliums, I finally decided to bite the bullet, and plant them all out.  I don't have a greenhouse, and wintering these over inside my basement each has worked but been a definite challange.
> The one species that I initially had enough of to try outside as well as protect inside, was A. mannii.  It's been completely hardy outside since 1999, and flowers much better, and in better form, than the potted plants.  So, out went the red fall-blooming Allium glandulosum, the white A. potosiense, and an unidentified Mexican species.  Either they make it or not.  I figure, all of the Texas species I've tried, have been hardy in New England so far, and the one Mexican species I tried outside has been perfectly hardy, so why not try the rest.  I'm tired of pampering them indoors over the winter.
> I have another potful of Allium glandulosum from another know collected location and A. scaposum from Baja California, still in pots, but I might just keep these two in pots and protected over winter, to assess how the others do.
> Mark McDonough
> Massachusetts, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5
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