Perennial of the Year: Allium Millenium

The late-summer bloomer produces globe-shaped, lavender flower heads, arising by the dozen, that last for a month or more.

by Randy Schultz
PHOTO: Walters Gardens

Take one look at an Allium Millenium in full bloom, and it’s no wonder this stunning plant was selected the 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. The globe-shaped lavender flower heads, arising by the dozen, last for a month or more. Millenium is a splendid late-summer bloomer, ready to deliver outstanding garden color just when many flowering plants are giving up their show for the season.

The flower heads are perfectly round and reach about 2 inches in diameter, studded on all sides with purple florets tinged with red. Like all Allium, the plant has a scent (it’s an onion, after all), which keeps away nibbling rabbits, deer and other hungry creatures. On the other hand, butterflies and bees find the blooms enticing.

allium millenium perennial of the year
Walters Gardens

This ornamental onion reaches about a foot high and wide, with a dense bouquet of dark green stems topped by bobbing blooms. Unlike older varieties, it won’t scatter seed all over the garden. Instead, it concentrates all its energy on setting flowers, and the results are magnificent. Just give it plenty of sunshine, well-drained soil on the light side, and wait for the flowers.

This story originally appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of Hobby Farms.

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