Family: Alliaceae

Scientific Name: Allium cernuum

Common Name: Nodding Onion, WIld Onion, Lady's Leek

DescriptionA native perennial plant forming a nodding umbel of white to light lavender flowers.
Plant TypeWild Flowers
Hardiness Zone(3)4-8
Sunlightfull to partial sun
Moisturerefers moist to mesic conditions, doesn't like dry
Soil & Siteloamy to rocky sandy, prefers undisturbed areas
FlowersFlowers occur on a 1-1.5 tall scape, terminating in an umbel that will node down at the apex. Each flower consists of: 3 petals, 3 sepals, 6 white stamens and are white to a light lavender. The nodding flowers are an evolutionary adaptation that tends to restrict the insect visitors to bees. They have long tongues and don't mind hanging upside down when going after the pollen.
Fruitcapsules, small black seeds
LeavesLeaves occur at the base of the plant forming a loose rosette. They are soft and tend to bend outward or inward. Many times the foliage is hidden in among the foliage of other plants. Forms a bulb that is longer than wide.
DimensionsReaches 1-1.5 feet tall.
PropagationEasily propagated by division of the bulbs and can also be grown from seeds.
Author's NotesThis can become an aggressive weed in your garden. If you don't want the plant. make sure you carefully pull out the entire plant. Spread quickly by seeds.
Notes & Reference#153-Illinois Wild Flower (, #218-Flora of Wisconsin (
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