Allium Star of Persia / Christophii

Spectacular airy purple clusters of stars make up this 8″ globe flower, beautiful in bloom and afterwards. We let these dry on the plant, where they add an ivory circle of stars to garen beds. Or dry and use for decorations indoors, as is or spray painted gold or silver. Once you’ve grown these, it’s hard to imagine the late spring garden without them. One of our local farmer’s market growers offers these for $1.50/stem in mid summer and sells out in the first hour each Saturday. (Her saleable stems are grown from the same patch of bulbs, year after year.)

Why Grow Alliums?

  • Alliums bloom with bright, lollipop-like purple, cranberry and white multi-floret balls on tall stalks
  • Ornamental onions bloom in mid to late spring, following the crocuses, hyacinths and daffodils
  • Create an easy, happy flower arrangement by cutting different types of flowering onions and slipping into a tall vase
  • Deer and rabbits aren’t fond of alliums

A friend sells the garden-dried flowers heads of this allium at a local farmers market. He always sells out and long ago paid back the price of his bulbs.

This is a Leafari staff tested and recommended variety.

star of Persia

Allium christophii has flower heads that are among the largest produced by any ornamental onions in commerce today. Each flowerhead is packed with up to 100 individual flowers.

Flowers lack fragrance, but the leaves and bulbs have an onion aroma when cut or bruised. When it’s finished blooming, the seed head of A. christophii can add a decorative interest to the garden or as a dried flower arrangement. This species of onion is native to Turkey, Iran, and Turkmenistan, although it is now grown as an ornamental bulbous plant in many parts of the world.

Here are some tips for planting bulbs! When you receive spring bulbs keep them in a dry, dark, cool place until ready to plant. They will need air circulation so that they don’t collect moisture and rot. Planting times can vary from early October in the North to mid-to-late November in the southern regions.

Botanical Name Allium christophii
Common Name star of Persia
Family Amaryllidaceae
USDA Zone 4 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun
Season(s) of interest all seasons
Height and Spread 1-2ft x 0.5-1.5 ft (30-60cm x 15-45cm)
Flower Color Purple
Attracts Wildlife Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional Information Not Native to the US Midwest. Native range: Iran, Turkey, Central Asia
Location in Lurie Garden East Meadow, West Weadow​

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