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Allium sphaerocephalon

Round-headed leek

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


Allium sphaerocephalon

Plant details

Allium sphaerocephalon is a striking allium, bearing dense green drumstick-style flower heads which mature to maroon-red.  It's a great choice for growing in a mixed herbaceous border among ornamental grasses, or gravel gardens. It also works well in a pot. 

For best results, plant Allium sphaerocephalon bulbs in fertile, well-drained soil up to three times their diameter. Grow in well-drained soil in full sun.

Family: Alliaceae

Genus: Allium

Species: sphaerocephalon

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Red

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 90cm

Spread: 8cm

Time to divide plants: March to May

Reader reviews


I planted some Allium sphaerocephalon last June after Gardeners world live but to date have had no flowers. Is there a possibility I didn't plant the bulbs far enough down or do they take a while to flower??

Rachel O'Hara

Roughly 4yrs ago i planted Allium Sphaerocephalon into light/well drained soil, to which they grew really well. They really need staking as the weight of the flower head makes them flop over.Another bonus is the amount of bees they attract,bees just love them.

Liz Kruthoffer

I planted Allium sphaerocephalon 2 years ago in a pot where they have only morning sun except at the height of summer.We have had practically no sun and masses of rain this year but they have flowered for the first time. The bulbs were planted about 5cm (2") deep but have pushed up to just below the soil level over that time. I will move the bulbs to a sunnier bed next spring but I think my northern clay soil may be too damp for them over winter. I will grow on the small bulbs so in a pot as a back up.

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