Shade Gardening forum: Allium victorialis, excellent subject for a shade garden

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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
Image
AntMan01
Apr 1, 2018 5:50 PM CST
My Victory Onions are leafing out (Allium victorialis), a fine perennial for a shade garden, blooming late May to early June. This species is circumpolar, that is, found over a broad range of locations in the northern hemisphere. Most importantly, this is a safe, well-behaved non-running ornamental onion, unlike the notoriously invasive ramsons or bear garlic Allium ursinum.

Allium victorialis slowly builds into dense clumps of heavily reticulated (burlap-like) bulbs attached together via short rhizomes, covered with beautiful foliage that mimics Lily of the Valley, then tall naked stems with largish globes of white flowers. It grows equally well in wet, medium, to dry soil. Very slow growing from seed, I gather up any seedlings and replant in a group to make new clumps, they take years to flower from seed. There are a few cultivars available.

Emerging foliage above a tight network of bulbs that sit right on top of the soil, the bulbs sheathed in reticulated bulb tunics, it's remarkable how it grows. This clump is about 18 years old! Photo taken April 1, 2018.


Fresh leaves expanding, looking like Lily of the Valley.
Second photo shows fully expanded leaves in the rain.


Fully expanding mound of foliage, and view of plants flowering in June.

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Apr 2, 2018 6:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
Image
AntMan01
Apr 1, 2018 5:58 PM CST
I have added photos for two cultivars of Allium victorialis on NGA plant database pages as follows:

Allium victorialis 'Cantabria'

Allium victorialis 'Kemerovo'

There is some complexity regarding taxonomy with this species and two allied species, I'll add more information later. Smiling
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...

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