Allium, Ornamental Onion 'Hair'

Allium vineale

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: vineale (vin-AH-lee) (Info)
Cultivar: Hair
Synonym:Allium sphaerocephalon




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (yellow-green)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

San Bernardino, California

Denver, Colorado

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida

Chadwick, Illinois

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Bloomfield, Iowa

Barbourville, Kentucky

Adamstown, Maryland

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Temperance, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Marietta, Mississippi

Roswell, New Mexico

Clinton Corners, New York

Dayton, Ohio

Grants Pass, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Sherwood, Oregon

Danville, Pennsylvania

Fate, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Bellingham, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)

Seattle, Washington

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 12, 2021, Paseo from Chicago, IL wrote:

This allium came into my garden anonymously with some other plant 3 years ago. I find it's flower unattractive. It's highly invasive and often difficult to pull or dig out with the bulb included.

Because the growth taste like chives I have been harvesting them for cooking as much as just trying to get rid of them.


On Jan 16, 2018, bellinghamroof from Bellingham, WA wrote:

I thought this was "cute," and I planted about 10 each in three groups on a 750 sq. ft. green roof. But every seed -- and there are many to each plant -- is viable. It was several years before I realized what was happening. To pull them up, you need to dig underneath to get all the bulblets that circle the main one. I have literally pulled up over 15 gallons of them since I first planted them, but I still have a green fur of tiny shoots covering every area of the green roof. The catalog didn't mention that they are listed as noxious weeds in most of the US and are specifically illegal in many areas.


On Jul 5, 2016, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

The information here is incorrect. 'Hair' is Allium vineale, not Allium sphaerocephalon, which is a separate, distinct, different species.


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

Ugly. Not nearly as interesting in reality as the catalogs make it sound. Save your money for something with showy flowers or beautiful foliage instead.

I've read varying accounts that place this in Allium sphaerocephalon, A. aflatunense, or A. vineale. If it's the last, this is one of the most pestilential of weeds, and almost impossible to eradicate once you have it. According to BONAP, A. vineale is considered noxious in 25 states.


On May 25, 2011, BPluckylady from Miccosukee Cpo, FL wrote:

This bulb grows well in Tallahassee, Florida in full sun. It does spread by seed but is not invasive. It looks great popping up among the purple coneflowers, providing a lot of interest. My 3 year old plants now produce flower heads 3-4" diameter. It is a charming addition!


On Nov 3, 2010, plantaholic186 from Winnetka, IL wrote:

Great Allium, but be forewarned that it self-seeds like crazy. Worth it, in my book!


On Jul 1, 2010, marimuse from Port Townsend, WA wrote:

My hair alliums started blooming a few days ago and are adorable! They are not nearly as large as I thought they would be, being only about an inch and a half in diameter, but they make me laugh every time I look at them. I hope that they will proliferate naturally,and if they do not, I will definitely get more. They look so cute coming up in the midst of other flowers.


On Jun 23, 2010, jackidee from Sherwood, OR wrote:

Not spectacular, but I like them by my path, as they are about 4' high and easy to inspect closely: and so funny-looking. Real conversation starter.


On Jul 25, 2009, quasymoto from Bloomfield, IA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love these, but I must have the only fertile ones because every year I end up with tons of these little buggers coming up all over, and they are NOT from the parent plant as I'll find them further away from the main plant. So now I dead head after the hairs are spent so I don't have this "problem."
And I also liken them to a bad hair day or Medusa.


On Feb 25, 2009, cheerpeople from northwest, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

As it's green, it is invisible. Looks like a bad hair day.


On Jun 13, 2008, Fairy1004 from (bestest fairy)Temperance, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I LOVE mine-it is a beautiful vibrant shade of green and the flowers are a smidge smaller than a baseball. They are so unique, my neighbors love them!!


On Jul 1, 2006, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

The bulbs opened in June. What a disappointment.

The flowers are about the size and shape of a quarter (Amerian coin).

The pictures in the catalog promised more than these flowering onions can deliver.


On Jun 6, 2006, Silphion from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

An interesting little Allium supposedly a random mutation from a field of regular A. sphaerocephalon (According to Paghat's garden) however, unlike the review of "butt-ugly" by Paghat I find them an interesting addition to mixed borders. I have mine mixed in with other Alliums (Globe giants and Gladiators) as well as Purple coneflowers and Green Wizards Rudbeckia's (I bought the 'hair onion' as part of a green blooming collection). No one would call the 'hair onion' a showstopper but they certainly are one-of-a-kind...also, they fit in well with contorted plants as thier heads are fully of twisty green hair...I wonder if one could make sneeds out of them~


On Jul 2, 2005, Theresa from Marine City, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grow this bulb in my garden in zone 5. It is both unique and bizarre. A great conversation piece. The picture I have submitted was taken on July 2, 2005. Im growing them in part sun, but I think they would like it with more sun.
My bulbs are grown in good amended soil with a cover of mulch added.


On Jun 16, 2002, Baa wrote:

Unusual sport found in a field of Allium vineale. It requires very well drained, fertile soil in full sun. Plant out bulbs about 4 inches deep in Autumn to flower the following year.