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Corkscrew Onion

Allium senescens

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Corkscrew Onion (Allium senescens) at Plants Unlimited

Corkscrew Onion flowers

Corkscrew Onion flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Corkscrew Onion (Allium senescens) at Plants Unlimited

Corkscrew Onion in bloom

Corkscrew Onion in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  12 inches

Flower Height:  24 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  German Garlic, Spiral Onion, Curly Chive

Description:

Spiraling foliage and pink-lavender flowers create a beautiful display in garden beds, borders or patio containers; foliage last throughout most of the summer months, while flowers generally bloom in late spring; deadhead after flowering to stop seeding

Ornamental Features

Corkscrew Onion has masses of beautiful balls of lightly-scented lavender flowers at the ends of the stems from late spring to early summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its sword-like leaves remain green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Corkscrew Onion is an open herbaceous perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant. Trim off the flower heads after they fade and die to encourage more blooms late into the season. 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. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Self-Seeding

Corkscrew Onion is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Corkscrew Onion will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 24 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 an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen! 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 not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Corkscrew Onion is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Plant Form  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

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