Nodding Wild Onion has erect, smooth flowering stalks that rise above the basal leaves. The stalks range in colour from light green to light red. The basal leaves are linear, flat and have parallel veins. The stalks produce nodding clusters of flowers. Although the flowers are not noticeably fragrant, the foliage, when crushed, gives off an onion-like scent. After the blooming period, the flowers give way to seed capsules.
Hardiness Zone: 4-8
Height: 1-1.5 feet; 0.3-0.45 metres
Spread: 0.25-0.5 feet; 0.08-0.15 metres
Sun: Full to part sun
Wildlife: Various bees and some butterflies are attracted to the flowers of this plant.
Bloom Colour: Pink
Tolerates: Dry soil, drought
Culture: Prefers moist to average moisture soil consisting of rich loamy, rocky, or sandy soil.
Nodding Wild Onion is a must-have for any garden. It is drought tolerant, thrives in compact soils, and grows in tidy, short clumps, making it ideal in a mixed perennial border or rock garden.
In mid-summer each clump produces several inflorescences, or scapes, topped with a nodding umbel of pale pink flowers.
Nodding Onion supports a variety of generalist pollinators including native bees.
This species is a wild relative of the culinary onions, garlic, chives, leeks and shallots. The leaves and flowers are edible, and taste much like a green onion. They can be eaten raw, but are a bit tough unless sautéed.
Nodding Onion is rare in Ontario, growing only in alvar habitat on Pelee Island.
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