Allium is a genus from the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) and is commonly named ornamental onion. Formerly the Allium was classified as belonging to the lily family (Liliaceae) and later to the onion family (Alliaceae). Currently the Allium is placed in the subfamily Allioideae within the amaryllis family. Alliums occur mostly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Onion (Allium cepa), garlic (Allium sativum), leek (Allium porrum) and chives (Allium schoenoprasum), amongst others, are well known culinary members of this genus.

The word allium is Latin and means “garlic”.

There are many species, so you should be able to find one to your liking. There are early and late flowering species. They are available in different heights (4-60 inches (10 cm to 1.5 m)) and with a different need for sunlight. There are species with white, purple, yellow, violet and pink flowers, many attract bees and some are fragrant. Alliums make excellent cut flowers for fresh and dried bouquets.

The nice thing about ornamental onions is that their scapes rise far above the leaves so that you can fully enjoy the flowers. The flower stalks are sturdy and usually do not need support.
The Allium ’Millenium’ is special in several ways. This ornamental onion has nice leaves that stay nice when the flowers appear. The Allium ’Millenium’ starts to bloom when most other Alliums have finished their bloom. It produces many beautiful, long-lasting flowers. Most Allium species are best planted in the autumn, but the Allium ’Millenium’ can also be planted in the spring (March/April). This Allium species does not grow from a bulb, but from tuberous roots and forms a clump. This ornamental onion does not spread through seed.

The flowers are full of nectar and attract a lot of bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

The Allium ’Millenium’ prefers a sunny spot with well-drained, fertile soil. This perennial is ignored by rabbits and deer and is drought tolerant.


Attracts bees: yes

Characteristic: newly emerging every year

Deer resistant: yes

Exposure: sun/part shade

Flower color: purple

Flowering time: July - September

Foliage color: green

Fragrant flower: no

Hardiness: -4 ºF/-20 ºC

Height: 16 inches/40 cm

Soil: normal/dry