After growing thousands of allium plants, with
particular interest in hybrids, a quantifiable range of
characteristics has emerged. One can think of these identifiable
traits as "lines", and new seedlings
seem to fall within these lines. A new "line" that emerged
over the last few years, is that of tallness.
Most of the Allium senescens-nutans progeny
produce plants averaging about 18" tall.
Among the tallest plant in this group is an extremely robust form of A.
nutans, with large 2-1/2"
globes of white flowers on stems that can reach 26"-28".
The photo below shows a distinctive
resulting from this large nutans form, but differing with it's muscular
base of green
strap-like leaves, and exceptionally tall stems to 36"-37" (1
meter), with white spherical heads of
bloom (in the photo, the buds just starting to open). It is also a
rebloomer, representing yet
another line of alliums with an extra long season of bloom.
These new extra tall rhizomatous Allium
hybrids enter a new category of summer
blooming plants competing for attention with other mid to late summer
really useful as a vertical accent.
the general garden view below, we start seeing the drifts of even-height
with the new tall growing sorts. Starting out as white-flowered
types, it wasn't long that the
typical range of white to lavender to purple arrived on the scene. In
the view below, we see
mostly tall white-flowered types.
we see some tall rosy-purple hybrids. One annoying "line"
in my Allium hybridization and selection
regimen is the tendency for some hybrids to resort to bulbillifery, that
is, the tendency to produce small
bulbils in the inflorescence that sprout with green leaves that ruin the
flower head's appearance. I try to
avoid seed from such types, as they lead to plants that increase the
chance of this characteristic.
In the view below, we see a bed of selected tall Allium hybrids. The
white tape visible on some of the stems
indicate plants that have been selected and tagged, with seed heads that I
want to save seed of. Some of
the tall ones shown here, are already going on to a seed phase.