Allium cernuum (Nodding Onion) CC DP


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Plant Description:

This plant is distinguished from most other native alliums by the fact that its flower stems crook sharply downward at the top just below the flower causing the flower umbel to nod. The droplet-shaped flowers are light lavender to pink, sometimes white, and appear June to July. The flowers turn upright and become papery as the capsules ripen. The bluish green grass-like leaves are shorter than the flower stem. Nodding onion is in leaf from February into October. The root system consists of elongated bulbs that often form clusters. Both the bulb and foliage have a typical onion-like scent. Plants will naturalize by self-seeding and bulb offsets in optimum growing conditions.

  • Height: 6-20 in
  • Width: 12-18 in
  • Watering needs: Low to moderate
  • Sun needs: Sun or part shade
  • Soil needs: 
  • Bloom Time: June-July
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function:

They smell and taste like the store-bought onions we all know so well. Round or slightly oblong bulbs lie just below grass-like blades. All parts of the plant are tasty. Showy pink flowers burst forward like fireworks, hanging low in the case of nodding onion or standing erect in some of the region’s less common Allium species. Like many onions, both wild and domesticated, this plant could be grown in both the vegetable garden and the flower garden.

Also known as Lady's Leek

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