Plant of the Month for August 2013

Allium sikkimense; photo by Todd Boland
Allium sikkimense

Description and general information:

This Allium is native to central Nepal and western China where it grows in alpine meadows at 3000-4800m.  In the wild it blooms in July. Plants have thin, grass-like leaves which are a little shorter than the flower stems. Stems reach 15-25 cm with nodding clusters of 5-20 flowers. The tepals are deep blue.  A key feature to help separate this species from A. cyaneum, are its stamens, which are shorter than the tepals.


This small onion requires full sun and a well-drained site.  It is not fussy about soil pH.

Bloom period:

June in milder regions but as late as August in cooler-summer regions


Seed, division


Seeds germinate freely if exposed to 6 weeks of temperatures around 4 C.  They will also germinate if directly sown at 20 C but germination may be more erratic.


Larger clumps may be dug and divided in early spring.


Not practiced as they are bulbs.

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