There are many different kinds of onion cultivated as garden plants but the nodding wild onion has a special charm all of its own. In summer a cluster of white to pink flowers grows on a single scape emerging from a clump of grass like leaves and lasts about a month. Clumps increase steadily and are easily divided; plants readily reseed. Planted in groups this native of prairies, meadows, and open woods, is very effective in the border as well as in a wildflower garden.

 Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Nodding umbels of pink to white bell shaped flowers are produced on a leafless scape about 18” tall in early summer to fall, lasting about a month.

Foliage: Blue-green basal grass-like leaves are solid and flattened with a central ridge.

Size: 1-2′ H x 12-18” W

Light: Full sun but tolerates some shade

Soil: Fertile to poor, moist to dry, well drained, acidic to neutral; very drought tolerant once established

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Deadhead to control spread

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Division of offsets in spring or fall; seed (after moist cold stratification)

Companion plants: Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea), leadplant (Amorpha canescens), brown eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba), spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), side oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis)

Outstanding Selections: Cultivars with rosy pink flowers are available.

Plant profiles pointer

By Karen