Nodding Wild Onion is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. Best in full sun, but appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Best in sandy loams. Plants will naturalize by self-seeding and bulb offsets in optimum growing conditions. Deadhead flowers before seed sets to help control any unwanted spread. Foliage persists past flowering into late summer before dying back.
Nodding Wild Onion typically grow 12-18” (less frequently to 24”) tall. It features clumps of flat, narrow, grass-like leaves (to 12” tall) and tiny bell-shaped, pink to lilac pink (occasionally white) flowers which appear in loose, nodding clusters (umbels) atop erect, leafless scapes rising slightly above the foliage. This onion is distinguished from most other native alliums by the fact that its scapes crook sharply downward at the top just below the flower so that the flower umbel nods, hence the common name.
Blooms in summer. All parts of this plant have an oniony smell when cut or bruised. Although the bulbs and leaves of this plant were once used in cooking (stews) or eaten raw, nodding onion is not generally considered to be of culinary value today.
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