Originally published June 16, 2012
A few years ago I came across a flower called Allium in a friend’s garden. I made a mental note of it because they were so unique and had an almost Dr. Seuss type quality to them. They remind me of the flower Horton is holding where the Whos live in Horton Hears A Who!.
I knew I wanted some in my garden as well. Eventually I found the bulbs at the local Costco and planted a bag of them last Fall.
Allium is Latin for garlic. There are hundreds of species of this plant. Bulb sizes are large varying from 2-3 mm to 8-10 cm.
Apparently some people eat these and they taste like onions. I have a funny feeling a bowl of Allium heads would not go over well at the dinner table, besides the fact that the Whos live in there. I think I’ll stick to enjoying mine in the garden at least this year.
They are exceptionally fun to photograph because of their long spikes. It is possible to find several different planes of focus within one flower head. And the extra bonus: I’ve read it blooms repeatedly throughout the summer, without the need to deadhead. I’ve seen one round of flowers and am currently awaiting the second bloom.
There’s also a neat picture of these all in a row at Wikipedia. I have no idea how you get them to grow exactly the same height like that but it looks very uniform and would make a nice background border.
Happy summer everyone!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.