the un-purple onion: allium moly
T HIS ONE SNUCK UPON ME. Allium moly, a foot-tall yellow ornamental onion, doesn’t have the baseball-or-bigger heads of some of its more dramatic purple cousins. But it has the rest beat in foliage (wide, beautifully pleated, blue-green leaves that don’t get nasty practically before bloom the way so many do) and durability. It has been gleaming for weeks here already, despite monsoon weather, its golden-yellow 2-inch-wide umbels screaming in the very nicest manner, calling the eye across the garden to please, come have a look.
In the way that groupings of crocus or the smallish species (botanical) tulips add to the earlier springtime show, A. moly is that kind of plant: a bit of punctuation, an exclamation here and there when a group is placed strategically at the feet of something else.
Of course, there was nothing strategic about my clump of A. moly and where it is placed. I suspect what I am growing is the cultivar ‘Jeannine,’ left over from a magazine shoot a few years ago, tucked in the area I use for cutting things and spare vegetables, nearly forgotten.
I’m going to keep this cluster of bulbs right where it is for future happy little June bouquets, and add some more elsewhere. More good news about A. moly: We’re not talking $1 or more a bulb, but more like 100 for $20, so I can splurge without too much guilt.
If you grew delphiniums (I don’t), this would be an astonishing partner; it coincides with lady’s mantle and roses; many irises; was already open with the herbaceous peonies a couple of weeks ago, and of course intersects with various other alliums. You know, some of those bigger purple guys.