With our ongoing drought in many parts of the continent, it's a good idea to investigate what native plants are thriving in this heat. Nodding Onion is one of these natives, loving hot, sunny locations in dry sandy soils. It is also apparently tolerant of loam or clay soils.
Very similar to Prairie Onion (Allium stellatum), Nodding Onion has drooping umbel flowerheads comprised of 6 parted light pink flowers. Flower stalk heights range from 12 -24 inches.
The leaves have an onion odor, not as strong as chives but quite apparent. Nodding onion works really well intermixed with shorter prairie natives at the edge of a planting. It looks fantastic planted with Wild Petunia, Side Oats Grama and Spotted Beebalm all of which flower at the same time.
Nodding Onion is native to many parts of North America, see map below for range.
|Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).|
2011. North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.