Allium karataviense

Turkestan onion

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This short, squat perennial bulb looks great from the moment it emerges in late winter until it dies down in summer. It is one of the few ornamental onions with beautiful foliage. Two fabulous soft gray blue-green broad leaves give an early show. Then in early spring a short flower stalk emerges and opens to a perfect globe of pale pink. Once the flowers finish the faded seed heads look like small sunbursts on dried stems. This drought tolerant bulb is excellent for hot dry sites and loves to bake during the summer months.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 0 ft. 9 in. (0.23 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Eryngium alpinum, Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense’, Triteleia ‘Corrina’, Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglat’

Great Color Contrasts: White, yellow, burgundy

Great Color Partners: lavender, pink, blue, silver

Culture Notes
Ornamental onions grow best in full sun and sandy soil. They will tolerate a heavier soil as long as it is very well-drained or even clay soils if the location is sloped and water does not puddle in the winter. Leaves will grow through the late winter and spring, only dying back as the bulb begins to flower. Yellowing leaves can be trimmed to the ground or hidden amongst other plants. Bulbs can be planted in the fall.