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Nodding Pink Onion, Lady's Leek

Allium cernuum

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: cernuum (SER-new-um) (Info)
Synonym:Allium cernuum var. cernuum
Synonym:Allium recurvatum


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:



White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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


Fullerton, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado (2 reports)

Hinsdale, Illinois

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Lake George, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Jamesburg, New Jersey

Roswell, New Mexico

Binghamton, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Tangent, Oregon

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

Leesburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

12-18 inch delicate native plant. Pink or white flowers "nod" from the stem, turning lilac as they age. This member of the lily family was used to flavor food and treat croup, colic, colds, fevers, kidney stones, dropsy, respiratory disorders. An endangered plant now found primarily in protected nature preseves. Low maintenance.

Sow seed outdoors in late fall.


On Dec 5, 2004, bonniewong from edmonton
Canada wrote:

I found this sweet little allium on some land behind my house slated for destruction. I dug up about 7 bulbs, and they are growing wonderfully. They transplant well and multiply each year, even in my freezing zone 3 garden.


On Aug 1, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is one of the most attractive of our native Alliums. Pure white to light pink flowers are suspended on two foot tall stalks in July and August.

Increases vegetatively, and can be divided in early spring.