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Allium cristophii

Ornamental onion

Reader rating

From 4 ratings

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Key information

Plant type

Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour



Attractive seed-heads, Flowers

Skill level


Allium cristophii

Plant details

There are several ball-headed kinds of flowering onion, and this is the largest and perhaps the most eye-catching of them all. Sometimes called the 'Star of Persia,' it is a native of Turkey and Iran, and loves a warm sunny site where it will tolerate competition from tree and hedge roots. Each huge, spherical flower-head contains up to 80 purple flowers with slightly flattened petals that emphasise the perfect ball shape. As these fade, they resemble brown stars, and the complete stem will last for many weeks as part of a dried flower arrangement. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Alliaceae

Genus: Allium

Species: cristophii

Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour: Purple

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 60cm

Spread: 15cm

Flowering period: July to August

Reader reviews


Grew this for the first time this year, and was not disappointed wfith either the size or the colour. Perfect for a small garden.

flowering rose

they are really lovely .


I have admit I have a weakness for Alliums, and these add interest to the garden, they look great in clusters and I,m fully intending on adding more to my collection.

big ed

Here's one for All Allium lovers! Try simply leaving some of your every day Leeks to run on to flower ,pop cut heads into vase for kitchen. (very attractive),nip a few petals from flowers sprinkle on salads or in salad sandwiches. (very tasty). Happy gardening everybody.

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