Allium giganteum as described by Caroline Garland, garden designer

Allium giganteum or the giant onion

It’s family name: Alliaceae


This is one of my absolute favourites.  In fact my gardeners call it my signature plant.. but then I seem to have lots of those!
It likes full sun so a south-facing border suits it best, but it will survive perfectly well in north, west and east-facing borders provided there is some shelter from wind.  It will grow in most soils, but add a bit of grit when grown in a clay soil to help drainage. 


Allium are bulbous herbaceous perennials with a strong onion or garlic scent, linear, strap-shaped or cylindrical basal leaves and star-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in an umbel on a leafless stem.

Allium giganteum is a perennial with spreading, glossy, strap-shaped basal leaves which die down before the flowers. Dense globose umbels of bright purple flowers are borne .  It is reasonably hardy and has purple summer flowers but is green in the spring.  By about late July it has died back.  It reaches a height of 1 – 1.5 metres and is fabulous in the early weeks of a herbaceous border and mixes well with plants its own height or those much smaller.  It looks particularly good in a cottage or informal garden style.


Allium giganteum photographed by Caroline Garland 300w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> Allium giganteum photograhed by Caroline Garland

Allium giganteum photographed by Caroline Garland 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /> Allium giganteum photographed by Caroline Garland

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