Drumsticks, Ornamental Onion, Round Headed Leek
Allium sphaerocephalon

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: sphaerocephalon (sfay-ro-SEF-uh-lon) (Info)
Synonym:Allium sphaerocephalum
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Bulbs

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Hardiness:

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)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Deciduous

Aromatic

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

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

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

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

Wedowee, Alabama

Belmont, California

Denver, Colorado

Welaka, Florida

Algonquin, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Grayslake, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Naperville, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Ewing, Kentucky

Cumberland, Maryland

Parkville, Maryland

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Garden City, Michigan

Owosso, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Florence, Mississippi

Roswell, New Mexico

Binghamton, New York

Chester, New York

Deposit, New York

Yonkers, New York

Rowland, North Carolina

Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Florence, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Boerne, Texas

Houston, Texas

Farmington, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Richmond, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Buffalo, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
1
neutral
1
negative
RatingContent
Negative

On Feb 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I'm not enthusiastic about this onion.

It grows well enough here. It offsets a little too enthusiastically and gets a little weedy, for my taste.

And I think it looks a little weedy, too. I might feel differently if the flowers were more brightly colored, but they're a dull muddy maroon-and-green---not really fuchsia at all---and don't show up well in the landscape.

Bulbs are very cheap. But I'd rather pay a little extra and have A. hollandicum 'Purple Sensation' or A. christophii instead, with their livelier colors and better form.

Positive

On Apr 19, 2010, nutsaboutnature from Algonquin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted a big bag of these (100) in Autumn 2008 that I purchased from a "Home Center Store". I was new at planting bulbs, waited too long (ground was somewhat frozen so my husband helped me to "chip" through it) & planted them in too much shade (only place I had room).

Even with all that, they came up in late Spring '09 looking really great!!

They bloomed a little later with stems that were a little thinner (from shade) & they angled "this-way & that-way", peeking through annuals & perennials (probably also from shade), but the overall effect was very pleasing with a different look than if they had been planted in full sun.

I'm really looking forward to them coming up this year. It will be interesting to see if they multiplied. Either way,... read more

Positive

On Jun 6, 2006, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Drumstick Allium, are said to be very good for naturalizing. Their dark crimson to deep purple flowers are egg shaped and are held on thick stems up to 24 inches in height.

Positive

On Jul 31, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

It's always surprising when it peeps out through the grasses...looks wonderfull and it demands nothing at all ...it echos plants or flowers that have the same colour (rubra or atropurperea) very cunning..

Positive

On Mar 3, 2005, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

A wonderful mixer, great interplanted among perennials. The bulbs are very reasonable to buy and they also multiply nicely.

Positive

On Sep 11, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I grew this plant in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, for several years, and these little bulbs are the cheapest and most readily available of the ornamental onion bulbs. I bought mine at a garden center like WalMart and planted them in the Fall in a sunny, steep, rock garden. They do spread over the years, and their bright purple, ball shaped flowers nod on slender stems in the mid-Summer breezes. The thin, strappy foliage can be evergreen in mild winters, but dies down in really cold weather.

Neutral

On Jul 17, 2002, Baa wrote:

Perennial bulb from Europe, West Asia and North Africa.

Has long, linear leaves. Bears rounded to egg shaped, crowded heads of tiny, bell shaped, pinkish to brownish red flowers. Sometimes the flowerheads contain bulbils as well as flowers. The whole plant is slightly garlic fragranced.

Flowers June-August

Loves well drained, fertile soil in full sun where it will happily multiply to it's hearts content.