Nodding Onion

Allium cernuum

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Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) at Weston Nurseries

Nodding Onion flowers

Nodding Onion flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) at Weston Nurseries

Nodding Onion in bloom

Nodding Onion in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 inches

Flower Height:  18 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Flowering Onion, Wild Onion

Ornamental Features

Nodding Onion features dainty lightly-scented nodding plum purple flowers at the ends of the stems from late spring to early summer. Its grassy leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Nodding Onion is an open herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Nodding Onion is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Nodding Onion will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 18 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features