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PlantFiles: Ornamental Onion
Allium thunbergii

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: thunbergii (thun-BERG-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Allium taquetii

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By mgarr
Thumbnail #1 of Allium thunbergii by mgarr


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jan 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I've grown the cultivar 'Ozawa' for many years. It's a tough, easy plant, valuable for its rich purple flower color, long late season of bloom, and brilliant orange fall foliage color. It clumps up very quickly without being at all aggressive. I've never seen a self-sown seedling.

Unless you're going into commercial production, division of the clumps into single bulbs is the easiest way to increase a planting. A single bulb forms a good clump in one season.

The cultivar produces flower scapes about 9" tall. But Dilys Davies in her well-documented book Alliums, says that the wild species itself has scapes 12-24" tall. The wild species is rarely (if ever) cultivated.

"Fuchsia" generally means "magenta", a color to which some people are averse. The flowers of 'Ozawa' are a bright clear red-purple, but they're decidedly not magenta.

There's also a white-flowered cultivar the same height as 'Ozawa'.

Neutral bluespiral On Jan 4, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Following is a technique for germinating seed of Allium thunbergii that I plan to use:

PROPAGATION: Baggy 70*F (60%G, 6-23days) They are sowed the seed in a baggy at about 70*F, and that 60% of the seed germinated within 6 to 23 days. From his general directions elsewhere on his website, I think I will try sowing 1/4 of my seed (2 weeks before last frost) on a moistened (damp not soaking) coffee filter paper folded over the seed which will then be placed inside a ziplock baggie under growlights for up to 4 weeks. To keep the filter paper from drying out, it may be necessary to occassionally spritz it with just enough spray of water to dampen it. Don't let germinating roots go too long before potting up or they may get too tangled up in the filter paper. The potting medium could consist of a mixture of 3 parts of: 1 part perlite (best) or sand (not too sharp) for drainage; 1 part milled sphagnum moss or peat for their anti-fungal qualities; and 1 part soilless potting medium.

NOTE: In the 2nd edition of Norman C. Deno's book, Seed Germination Theory and Practice, germination techniques that worked for him are given for many Allium species, but not including A. thunbergii. However, it may be worth noting that although Deno found quite a variety of germination requirements among different allium species, those species all had in common: "...Gibberellic acid-3 (GA-3)...did not initiate germination in [any of them]".

Positive mgarr On Jan 2, 2007, mgarr from Hanover Twp., PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

A wonderful plant that adds color in the garden way into November.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Roslindale, Massachusetts
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

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