drumstick allium

Allium sphaerocephalon (drumstick allium) is a great way to bring unique whimsy to your garden. This member of the Amaryllidaceae is native to Europe, southward to North Africa, and eastward to Iran. In the U.S.,drumstick allium grows best in USDA Zones 4-8.

The most unique aspect of A. saphaerocephalon is the spherical to egg-shaped (1-6 cm diameter) umbel flowering head borne on a solitary stem up to 50 cm in height. Flower buds and flowers are red- or rose-purple, bringing a delicate warmness to the garden. Plants bloom in June-July and grow best in full sun. The colorful flowers are known to attract numerous butterflies.

Plants of A. sphaerocephalon are perfect for naturalizing in your garden and the unique flower head creates a sense of whimsy to planting areas. At Lurie Garden, drumstick allium is often inter-planted or naturalized within plants as to echo or reflect shapes and colors. For example, A. sphaeroceophalon is planted near a stand of Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ (globe thistle), where the rounded shape of the allium reflects to rounded flower head from the globe thistle.

Botanical Name Allium sphaerocephalon
Common Name drumstick allium
Family Amaryllidaceae
USDA Zone 4 to 8
Light Requirement Full Sun
Season(s) of interest All Seasons
Height and Spread
2-3ft x 1-1.5ft
(60-90cm x 30-45cm)
Flower Color Purple
Attracts Wildlife Butterflies
Additional Information
Native range: Eurasia, North Africa
Location in Lurie Garden
North Dark Plate, Southwest Dark Plate