Allium cristophii

star of Persia

Persian onion

Outstanding Qualities

Allium cristophii was selected for its large starburst-like purple flowers that fade to a tawny silver as they dry. The dried seed heads hold up well in the summer garden adding an interesting structural element to later blooming perennials. These bulbs do well in sandy soils and dry locations and are completely drought tolerant.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Sedum ‘Bertram Anderson’, Triteleia ixioides ‘Starlight’, Zauschneria septentrionalis ‘Select Mattole’, Cotoneaster procumbens ‘Queen of Carpets’, Grevillea victoriae, Hebe topiaria

Great Color Contrasts: bronze, yellow

Great Color Partners: pink, lavender, silver

Culture Notes

Ornamental onions grow best in full sun and sandy soil. It will tolerate 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 among other plants. Bulbs can be planted in the fall.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: purple

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant