Allium moly ‘Jeannine’

Sometimes inspiration for the garden comes from books. I have written several times about how inspiration from the Piet Oudolf books changed the plantings and their arrangement here. Last fall, it was another tome, this time Bulb by Anna Pavord, that inspired some branching out in the bulb order selections to the small Alliums ssp.. Of the four types ordered, Allium moly ‘Jeannine’ is now blooming and is performing perfectly.

August 18, 2009 001 (2)
Factors that are beyond my control affect the bulb display here; the weather, the soil and critters, among other things. One plant that never ever fails to bring us great joy and is beloved by the pollinators is garlic chives, Allium tuberosum. The thinking was that other, similar little onions might also do as well.

Several Alliums with larger bloom heads have been planted with varying success. Some are wonderful the first year, never to be seen again. Some will return sparingly but need to be treated as annuals with new plantings each fall for a guaranteed show. Some years, there is disappointment, like the 2012 edition of Allium ‘Mt. Everest’ which is supposed to be tall and stately and this year is short and sort of sad. But Allium moly ‘Jeannine’, now there is a patch that brings a smile. The Rhododendron ‘Klondyke’ and blue bearded Iris add to the grin.

Ms. Pavord recommended planting in the shade, on the north side of a rock or under a shrub. I chose the area under the native nine bark cultivar, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Summer Wine’, not knowing last fall that the shrub would be blooming at the same time as Jeannine. What a lucky site selection it turned out to be. The book said it would bloom in summer, but this is not England, so who knows? Also, this year the bloom times are out of sync with normal anyway.

Fifty bulbs were planted in two holes, pointy side up. The results have exceeded expectations. It still remains to be seen what the return rate will be, but there are high hopes.

Some plant facts about Allium moly ‘Jeannine’:

Bloom time: In Southeast Tennessee, April, in 2012 anyway. Bulb says summer.
Zone: 3-9
Height: About a foot to 18 inches tall, Bulb says 8 inches.
Flower size: Many smaller florets on a flat head about one to two inches wide.
Color: Yellow
Habitat: Species found in Europe on mountain scree on the north side of a rock, prefers shade.

Will naturalize under shrubs and trees, I hope that happens here.
Named for the wife of Dutch nurseryman Michael Hoog in 1978. Jeannine is a selected form, flowering earlier and more reliably than the species.

Gardening, and life, is about trying new things. One never knows when luck will strike and that new thing will turn out to be a new favorite. I hope this is one to last a lifetime.


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18 Responses to Allium moly ‘Jeannine’

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Jeannine is the prettiest allium that I have ever seen. It is spectacular with your Ninebark. I have a similar situation. Hmmmm. Worth looking for this allium.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for being such a constant commenter! Jeannine is wonderful, has been blooming for several weeks now, and still going strong. Final judgement will have to be made next year to see if she returns reliably. I am hoping she does.

  2. Layanee says:

    It is a surprising color for an allium. I had a patch a while back but I must have disturbed it and discouraged it. I will have to replant some. It bloomed here in mid-spring as I remember. Summer? Pfffft…England only. Even my big alliums are heading up two weeks early this year. What will be left for June?

    Hi Layanee, thanks for offering your experience with this allium. I will be careful to not disturb these. Our big alliums were all a bust this year, for whatever reason. The lilies are starting to open here, a month early. Will it continue with this earlier than normal for the whole season? Will we see mums and asters in June? What about the pink muhly grass!

  3. Jeannine is very colorful and flirtatious and would be quite welcome in anyone’s garden. Hope she decides yours is the perfect place to take up permanent residence and makes many return visits in the years to come. I love the composition of the flower head with all the dainty florets working together to give a big bang of color.

    Hi Michaele, thanks. Jeannine is more showy than I had expected, and more long lasting too. We will be watching next year to see how she performs, the second year is always disappointing in most bulbs. I hope she is the exception.

  4. Laurrie says:

    I too fell in love with allium moly, and the first year they were cheerful, bright accents at the low level of the garden, so yellow and cute. I knew they would wander, but instead of spreading, mine wandered away. Each year I have fewer, and almost none in the one garden where I planted tons of them. I do still see some in my front garden, but mostly allium moly is no more for me.

    (I don’t think mine were ‘Jeannine’)

    Thanks for sharing your experience with A. moly, Laurrie. My hopes are still high, but I realize many Alliums are simply one shot wonders. We shall see what happens here.

  5. I will have to think of them as annuals. My Purple Sensation is smaller and a little sparse this year and Schurberti did not come back. I did plant some extras of this one last fall.


    Hi Eileen, thanks for adding to the conversation. My Schubertii did not come back either, for some reason. Those are usually the best at returning for me. This winter was not nearly as cold as the last, I am wondering if there was not the proper chill period. Also, it got warm too quickly and fried many things just as they were emerging. Purple Sensation is a flat out annual here, but worth replanting.

  6. Katie says:

    I’ve had the exact same experience…big headed alliums like purple sensation fizzle out,especially this year, but my allium moly patch is thriving and growing larger every year (its been 3 years since they were installed). Mine are very early (of course) this year as well, but I think you will be really happy with yours next year in terms of survival and spreading. Not invasive, just gently colonizing. Thanks for the post…so I know I’m not alone on my Purple Sensation disappointment!

    Oh Kate, thank you for those encouraging words about Jeannine. It was just strange on the bulb front and the weather front this year, not a good indication of how most things will perform. But Purple Sensation has now been planted four different times, in different locations with sparse, if any returns.

  7. cathywieder says:

    Jeanine, thanks so much for sharing info about this allium. I’m not a fan of yellow blossoms but Steve adores them and we have an area in our woodland garden where this would make a lovely contrast. Such a pretty, pretty blossom head! Does it smell like a typical allium (oniony)?

    Just a minute, Cathy, I will go give them a sniff, although my nose is not working well with all the pollen in the air at the moment. Okay, I’m back. Don’t plant this one in your perfume garden, it does smell oniony, but I had to stick my schnozz right down into it to detect the scent. Yellow is a color that draws the eye, it plays well with others, too.

  8. Gail says:

    I like this allium and the color is delightful…It looks happy in your garden and I like the planned and serendipitous pairings. I tried this early on in my gardening career~Before I truly understood my garden conditions; of course, it was a one season wonder. It might be time to give it another try. xoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks for visiting. I hope this Allium is happy enough to return faithfully, if it could grow like the garlic chives, that would be phenomenal. I too planted many things early on that did not survive because of poor planting location, care, etc. I am better now, like you. Experience is a good teacher.

  9. Jeannine says:

    I was unaware of this bulb, Jeannine, but now I will have to get in for mt yard! Thanks for posting it. Jeannine

    Hi Jeannine, you certainly need to give this one a try!

  10. commonweeder says:

    This yellow allium is so unusual and so bright. I had my first alliums blooming last spring – the Brent and Becky catalog proved irresistible. I was so surprised about the many flower forms. I think most of mine survived the winter and are budding up nicely. No blooms yet.

    Hi Pat, those bulb catalogs are hard to resist. Since there can never be too many bulbs, that’s okay. I like discovering new, to me, smaller ones, too. It sounds like you are going to have a very nice show!

  11. I am putting this on my list of plants that Frances grows that I want to try. I agree with Layanee, how it performs in England is no indication of how it will perform in Tennessee. But it might be closer to how it performs in upstate NY, where I live. I will have to grow some to see. I think for a lot of the alliums, they need what is known as perfect drainage, and if they don’t get it, they go bye-bye.

    HA, Kathy, I would love to see that list! If perfect drainage is the only need, I should have zero failures. It is the cool, moist that I lack, although we do usually have enough chill hours for lilacs and tulips to be reliable here. England, ah, what conditions they have to grow things. Envy envy envy.

  12. Robin Ripley says:

    I have just added my first ninebark here. I love the way the little flower clusters contrast with the burgundy foliage. Lovely siting in your garden.

    Hi Robin, thanks for visiting. You are going to love the ninebark, that foliage is fabulous. Mine, Summer Wine gets larger than I would like, so I have to prune it by 1/3 each year to still have flowers. I think there are smaller, and larger ones, too.

  13. Linda says:

    I have just made a beautiful bouquet from my standard chives. The oddest thing has happend this year… typically blue blooms are pink in the center and lavender on the outside, kinda like when they are spent, only the fresh bloom is this color with very healthy petals and brilliat color. I’m not complaining, just wanted to share this morfing of my chives. What would cause this? Weather, alkalinity changes? I know a rusty nail at the roots of a pink hydrangea, will turn it blue. BTW I have allium envy………Jeannine is beautiful!!! Thanks Frances!

    Hi Linda, you bouquet sounds lovely. The color change is probably due to the heat we have been experiencing. Acid or alkaline is something that does affect hydrangea color, but that rusty nail is a drop in the bucket compared to a whole garden of a certain PH. My hydrangeas will always be nothing but blue, but I am okay with that. Jeannine is a good one, I am hoping for it to return and multiply. We shall see about that.

  14. My sandy garden is a veritable allium factory when it comes to A. cristophii and tuberosum. Haven’t tried any others, but you’ve tempted me with ‘Jeannine.’ The yellow is warmer than the species, it seems.

    Hi Helen, lucky you! A. christophii and tuberosum do well here in our anything but sandy clay. Maybe Jeannine will be added to that list. Give it a try and let me know how it does for you.

  15. Lola says:

    That Jeannine sure is a looker. I would like it in my garden. I like the yellow as a popper.

    HI Lola, thanks. Jeannine really does pop in the black garden, and I love yellow.

  16. Katarina says:

    I like the look of Jeannine! It would fit perfectly underneath my magnolia. I must see if I can find it.

    Hi Katarina, thanks for stopping by. I hope you can find Jeannine, she would look lovely under a magnolia.

  17. Diane says:

    Good Morning Frances,
    Greetings again from Vancouver, Canada. Just wanted to comment on being influenced by books. There is a lovely writer, (English,male) who wrote in the 1930’s, He bought houses and fixed them up all because of the gardens. His name is Beverley Nichols and some of his delightful titles are, Down the Garden Path,and Laughter on the Stairs. Being an urban gardener,I can’t grow too much but because of him I have tried a few things and they were all that he said they would be. I hope that he is smiling somewhere in garden heaven.

    Hi Diane, whoooboy, do I know Beverley Nichols! Merry Hall is my favorite of his books, I have read it over and over. I even wrote a post about inspiration for the planting of Regale Lilies from it. Regale Lily Inspiration. I admire your taste in writers.

  18. Diane says:

    Hi, Diane again. Frances we must be garden sisters. Those are the flowers I planted last fall and they are all up about now about 14″ I love lilies and the Regale sounded so beautiful. I will look for your post on them. I agree that Merry Hall was a marvellous read. I promise to send you a photo when they flower. Blessings.

    Hi Diane, thanks. The Regales here are budded out and almost ready to bloom. This is not the usual time for that at all, but it is what it is. I do love those white trumpets. The post name is the link in my response, btw.


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