Growing Allium Plants In Your Yard
Allium, also known as flowering onion plants, is a spectacular and unusual looking flowering plant that will add interest to any garden. Although species exist in many areas, most are found in the northern hemisphere. Allium bulbs vary in size from tiny chives to large leeks, and mature plants likewise vary in height. They typically grow from rhizomes, or short root structures, but some species can grow bulbs from vertical tuber roots or horizontal runner roots called stolons. Most grow to flowering maturity from bulbs that survive year to year, courtesy of their unique structure of layered membranes of fibrous flesh with high water content. Most allium plants have from one to 12 leaves, usually long, either flat or tubular. They can be straight or curled. Rarely, the leaves will have a stalk, and they are always attached directly to the root bulb. Often, leaves may die off when flowers appear.
Allium plants are cultivated throughout the world as different crops, but different types favor varied soils and climates. Leeks prefer well-drained, mineral-rich soil; some lilies are entirely hydroponic. Indeed, they are common plants not only in vegetable gardens, but ornamental plots as well, such as the popular Allium hollandicum, an onion whose flowering bulbs are a dramatic stalk broadly crowned by bright purple. This type has been bred in a variety of sizes and flower colors. On the other hand, some species of the genus are invasive gardening weeds that attract destructive insects, such as the larvae of moths and butterfly.