Ornamental Onions with their Star-Shaped Little Flowers

Ornamental flowering onions

As the spring bloom continues in the gardens, Tulips and Pasque flowers ultimately give way to Ornamental Onions. Also known as Allium, their big, round, pom pom looking heads begin to dot the gardens in mid-spring.

Each head actually consists of dozens of tiny lilac-colored, star-shaped flowers. While coming in various sizes, varieties and shades of purple, they can also be found in white. They are a perennial that grow quite easily so they make return appearances. Given the conditions of the local gardens where they thrive, these Ornamental Flowering onions are hardy indeed!

A Google search for Ornamental Onion flowers or Allium will provide plenty of more technical info on the different varieties – should you feel inclined. But for the sake of this post, I’m going for visuals as in what’s in front of me at the moment to photograph.

The First to Show with Alien Looking Buds

Alien looking ornamental onion flower buds.
Alien antenna-looking Ornamental Onion flower buds above with heads in full bloom to the right.
Round lilac-colored ornamental onions.

The first variety that appears in the local gardens are the fast-growing, taller variety of Ornamental Onions. They bob and sway in the spring winds.

With their alien looking buds, I love how they remind me of antenna – the kind you see on some odd creature in a sci-fi flick. They have a little casing around them (like an onion skin) that contains the dozens of little onion flowers encapsulated within the bud.

It’s hard to believe how many little flowers are actually contained within these flower buds. Slowly but surely the bud gives way and the little flowers push their way through to the full bloom of its round, pom pom appearance.

Lower to the Ground

A rolling sea of round, purple allium.
A rolling sea of purple pom pom heads.

Another variety are the ones that bloom much lower to the ground than their taller brethren with much thicker stalks and leaves.

These Ornamental Onions tend to have larger heads with a lighter shade of star-shaped, little purple flowers.

As you can see in the photo to the right, once these are in full bloom throughout the gardens, it looks like a rolling sea of round, purple pom pom heads.

It’s a very beautiful sight to behold!

But beauty aside, don’t bee too fooled. If you lean in close enough to the stalks or step on them, you WILL smell onions!

Orbs that Look Like Galaxies of Their Own

Arch created from Allium onion flowers.
A lower to the ground variety with a perfectly shaped arc of star-shaped flowers.

Perhaps this season I looked at these flower orbs differently – or my imagination was running wild. Looking more closely they look like little galaxies of their own complete with hundreds of stars (all the little flowers). They have their own universe with lots of pom pom planets!

Star shaped, lilac colored little Allium ornamental onion flowers.
Lilac-colored, star shaped little Allium flowers.
Lilac colored, star-shaped allium flowers
Little onion flower in the morning sunlight.

Let’s Not Forget the Bees!

A post would not be complete without given the bees some love. The bees love these Ornamental Onion flowers. With pollen options still in limited supply, once the mornings warm up, the bees take full advantage of all the little flowers at their disposal. They move from flower to little star-shaped flower focused on the pollen gathering mission at hand.

Honey bee on little star-shaped allium flowers
Honey bee focused on gathering pollen on Allium flowers.
Bee makes a getaway from star-shaped onion flowers.
Honey bee making a getaway as it moves on to the next flower head.

Photographing these little fellas among the flowers can be tricky. My lens of choice is not necessarily ideal for these fast moving flyers. So when a few shots come out, my photo capturing session for the day is happily complete 🙂

Feel inspired? Please share...