April 24, 2017

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Allium senescens subsp. glaucum - German garlic or curly chives

Janine Pineo Photo | Allium senescens subsp. glaucum – German garlic or curly chives

Allium senescens subsp. glaucum is an ornamental onion, blossoming later in the year than most of its relatives. Its common names are numerous, ranging from German garlic to curly chives to pink curly onion to circle onion. What can be agreed upon is the unique swirling, curling leaves that twist. The grasslike leaves are a blue-gray shade (hence the glaucous in the name) that form a compact, dense clump that grows to about 6 inches in height. Rising over that are plentiful blooms in a lilac shade formed in umbrels on leafless stems, reaching about 12 inches in height. The plant is hardy to Zone 4, which covers much of Maine, and once established is drought tolerant. Interestingly, the flowers do have a mild scent, unlike other alliums. Like other onions, any part of the plant cut or crushed smells like onion.

Allium senescens subsp. glaucum - German garlic or curly chives

Janine Pineo Photo | Allium senescens subsp. glaucum – German garlic or curly chives