High Impact Summer Spheres!

While you wouldn’t see this featured plant blooming for another five months or so from this early February blog posting, the ‘Summer Beauty’ ornamental onion (Allium tanguticum).  These lavender pink spheres (2-3″ diameter) appear in mid summer and offer interest for many weeks and well in to fall and early winter as they age to a tan color.  There are many excellent, perennial ornamental onions out there although this variety has seen enormous popularity over the last 8+ years in our summer gardens.  The features of this plant, aside from general beauty of course, are myriad.  Reach 18″-24″ tall with a similar spread, this hardy (Z4) perennial prefers full sun and is both drought and salt tolerant.  While butterflies and other pollinators enjoy this perennial, both deer and rabbits tend to leave it alone.  The flowers are long lasting and are also sterile (no seedlings!).  The foliage emerges early and actually gets a nice clear yellow in mid October.


Today was misty with occasional rain. The weather was unseasonably warm (47 degrees F) for February which is a bit concerning.  Larry H. and Cindy continued with Holiday Light Show (HLS) processing and our volunteers today included Kathy P., Kay and Bill O.

directly above and below are at Olbrich Botanical Garden (Madison, WI)

photo above courtesy of Marsha Mood

Allium tanguticum ‘Summer Beauty’ at Northwind Perennial Farm (Burlington, WI)