Allium cernuum

nodding onion

Habit: this plant is distinguished from most other native alliums by the fact that its flower stems crook sharply downward at the top just below the flower causing the flower umbel to nod. The droplet-shaped flowers are light lavender to pink, sometimes white, and appear June to July. The flowers turn upright and become papery as the capsules ripen. The bluish green grass-like leaves are shorter than the flower stem. Nodding onion is in leaf from February into October. The root system consists of elongated bulbs that often form clusters. Both the bulb and foliage have a typical onion-like scent. Plants will naturalize by self-seeding and bulb offsets in optimum growing conditions.

Ecology: dry to open woods, moist prairies, and rocky or sandy sites at low elevations. Allium cernuum is common along coastal bluffs, moist areas at higher altitudes and can often be found with Douglas fir.

Growing Conditions: full sun or part shade and dry to medium, well-drained soil. Tolerates full shade as well, especially in hot climates. Very drought tolerant once established.


Herbaceous perennial
6–20 in (15-50cm)
12-18 in (30-45cm)
USDA Zones:

Native Habitat

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