American Alliums - Gallery 3

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Allium douglasii - close-up    copyright  2000 Mark McDonough Allium douglasii - in bud   copyright  2000 Mark McDonough

Allium douglasii
This pretty allium from the Pacific Northwest is
found growing in the mountains of Washington
and Oregon.  In the wild, this species can be
found growing by the millions, coloring whole

hillsides with pink. There are four named
varieties of this species, but in the populations

I studied, it seems that the species is highly
variable thus might not warrant separate rank.
The flower color varies in shade of pink, and
very rarely a white form can be found. Grows
6-10" (15 - 25 cm) and flowers in June.

Allium douglasii - in habitat
This pleasant onion prefers vernally moist swales
and hillsides seeping with water, these same
locations becoming bone dry after the spring
snow-melt is gone.  The specimens shown above
illustrate a charming nodding habit to the flower
buds, however the umbels stand up straight
once they open.  This specimen has narrow-ish
foliage, but specimens with exceptionally wide,
falcate leaves grew intermingled with narrower-
leaf types.  In cultivation, this species likes a
peaty spot that's allowed to dry out in summer.

 

Allium mannii - potted plant     copyright  2000 Mark McDonough Allium cernuum 'Oxy White'     copyright  2000 Mark McDonough
Allium mannii
Very little information can be found on the
Mexican alliums, and certainly they are near
impossible to come by in cultivation. This
species surprised me by proving hardy in my
USDA zone 5 garden, since it comes from
the mountains of Mexico, preferring very wet
conditions, even found growing in standing
water.  In cultivation, average garden soil in full
sun seemed to it's liking.  It flowers in July.
Allium cernuum 'Oxy White'
(syn. A. oxyphilum
)

In amongst a sea of alliums, the delicate
white-flowered umbels in the top center
are Allium cernuum 'Oxy White'. This plant
represents the type plant known as Allium
oxyphilum, a so-called species from West
Virginia and Virginia.  I believe is is nothing
more than a form of A. cernuum, albeit a
lovely form with long, narrow pedicels.

 

Allium mannii - umbel   copyright  2000 Mark McDonough Allium cernuum 'Oxy White'     copyright  2000 Mark McDonough
Allium mannii - late anthesis
This species seems closely akin to A. plummerae,
(see American Allium Gallery #2), roughly alike
in growth habit, and in having low-domed semi-
hemispherical umbels of white flowers.  However,
in A. mannii, the flowers are quite different, with
narrowly elliptical, unmarked tepals. The central
ovaries are light pink at first, aging to brownish-
red upon maturity. About 16" (40 cm) tall.
Allium cernuum 'Oxy White'
Convinced that the plant called A. oxyphilum is
nothing more than yet another form of the highly
variable nodding onion, A. cernuum, I dubbed
this plant A. cernuum 'Oxy White'. I've yet to
take a decent photo of this endearing plant, but
you can get the overall impression of an airy
display of little, pure white droplets.  The plant
flowers in July, and grows to 20" (50 cm) tall.

 

 

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Images and textual content copyright 2000 Mark McDonough