The American nodding onion, Allium cernuum,
is receptive to hybridization, readily
crossing among variable forms of the same species, with A. stellatum, and
surprisingly, with European and Asian rhizomatous alliums such as
senescens, and other species.
Allium 'Green Eyes' is one of the better chance hybrids that
appeared in a nursery
area of my yard, where I had potted plants of both A. cernuum and A.
This hybrid shows strong grayish strap foliage similar to senescens, but
trademark nodding heads and arched pedicels of A. cernuum. As is
typical of such
crosses, the central ovaries are larger, green, and more conspicuous,
name I've given this fine plant, 'Green Eyes'. Depending on the
weather, the florets
are pure white or noticeably tinged with pink, held in densely packed
domes, topping semi-contorted, strongly angled stems which are almost
in cross-section. The stems reach 24"-28" in height.
Another view of Allium 'Green Eyes' (a. cernuum x senescens).
In the image below is a bizarre aberration, where one flower head of Allium
cernuum sports a thick fasciated
stem that is flat and broadest new the top, and an amazing densified head
of bright pink flowers. Often,
hybrids between A. cernuum and species like senescens/nutans produce
odd-looking plants with bizarre
features and growth patterns, so I separated out this plant for
observation. The following year, it flowered
normally, so perhaps it was just an aberration
that year and not really a hybrid after all.
Allium cernuum x rubens - growing up among flats of potted Allium
rubens (a small rhizomatous onion
from Europe and Asia), came this surprising find, now doubt a bee-induced
influence from large flowering clumps
of Allium cernuum. In this hybrid one sees characteristics of both
parents, yet resulting in something totally
unique. The pale pink bloom heads are miniscule, closer to the
few-flowered heads on Allium rubens, yet held
in a way similar to cernuum. In July, the tiny orb-like florets
barely open to allow the stigma to stick out.
view of Allium cernuum x rubens, showing the oddly shaped flower
heads. Also noticeable here
is the tendency for the strongly winged flower stalks to be sinuous and
semi-contorted, up to 2' or more in
length. This plant will not get named, it's just one of those
botanical curiosities that are fun to observe.