allium-christophii-3Five large amethyst-violet spheres with silver highlights are emerging from the soil in my garden like space ships. Ah…it is Allium albopilosum time. These beautiful globes held on their 24” stems above their gray-green strap shaped foliage and produced by a member of the onion family, give structure and form to the garden. They come to the garden before it is teeming with other flowers and dominate the show. When the individual flowers fade they leave a skeleton of their inflorescence that left in the garden for winter interest or can be brought indoors for use in floral arrangements .

A. christophii dried
A. christophii dried

Type: Bulb.

Bloom: Pale amethyst-violet florets with silver highlights and deep green eyes borne in 10” spheres; late spring.

Size: 14’-24” h X 12” w.

Light: Full sun-part sun.

Soil: Rich well drained; pH 6.5-7.5 (neutral).

Fertilizer: Apply balance fertilizer (8-8-8) or manure when planting, when the leaves first emerge from the soil, when blooms fade.

Hardiness: Zones 4-10; Heat Zone 3-8.

Care: Plants bulbs after the first killing front in the fall 8” deep.

Pests and Diseases: Soil rot, fungi may affect bulbs in cold, damp soil.

Propagation: Remove offsets in fall.

Companion plants: hostas, pink dianthus, red or pink roses, Salvia ‘May Night’, Lady’s Mantle, Lamb’s Ear, herbaceous peonies.

Comment: Deer and rodent resistant.

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By Karen

2 thoughts on “Plant Profile: Star of Persia (Allium albopilosum syn. A. christophii)”
  1. Mine are about to open too. After years of ignoring large Alliums I’ve now started to buy them. I can’t believe what fine flowers I’ve been missing!

  2. I am glad to hear that you like the big Alliums too. They bloom in my garden before most of the other plants are in full gear so they really dominate the area. I especially enjoy them all winter; I put 5 of them together cut at different length in a tall vase and they are quite striking.

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