Also known as Nectaroscordum, Honey Garlic, Bularian Allium or Allium Summer Bells, Allium bulgaricum has loose heads made up of 20 to 30 hanging, loosely packed florets. Each flower has white petals that are flushed with cherry pink from the centre outwards.
The fresh green leaves start to come through earlier than many other alliums and will normally have formed a substantial spring green clump by the middle of March. Later in the spring, out of these leafy clumps come slender stems a little over a metre tall, each topped with a silvery white skinned bud. As the buds swell and develop, this silvery skin stretches becoming more transparent and papery, before finally being popped off as the flower bursts out…….a fascinating process to watch.
Once the flowers are fertilised – and like many alliums, they are splendid plants for attracting beneficial insects – the seedheads dry out, turning upwards to give a new and long lasting form in the garden. The elegant verticals of the stems look particularly good when complemented by one of the clump forming perennials such as geranium Johnsons Blue, or a glaucous Hosta such as ‘Blue Angel’- why not take a look at the other perennial plant sections of our website for a wide variety of suitable planting companions for Allium bulgaricum.
The bulbs are best planted 15cm deep and at least 25cm apart. If your soil is a heavy clay, they will appreciate a little grit being incorporated during planting.Allium bulgaricum will happily naturalise in grass, as long as it can remain unmown until mid summer to allow the bulbs to build up their resources for the follwing years flowering. As long as they have reasonable drainage, they are an easy bulb to grow, being happy in most soils and doing well in both sunshine and part shade.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ALLIUM BULGARICUM
If you particularly enjoy growing alliums, then you will find a great deal of information plus many, many photographs of a wide variety of Alliums on the websites of the Internatonal bulb society http://www.bulbsociety.org and of Mark McDonough http://www.plantbuzz.com an American allium enthusiast and member of the Pacific Bulb Society.