Allium Rudeness

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This sort of activity is so unappealing, photobombing every shot.

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You might want to consider behavior modification.

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While it is true that unexpected and sometimes uninvited guests are often welcome here (hellebores)….

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…Your popping up everywhere is pushing the limits of politeness….

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…Especially when you bring your whole fam-damily!

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It could be considered quite rude in some circles, in fact.

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And to think you are offered for sale by gardening catalogs as a desirable asset! Allium ‘Hair’ might be cute when in bloom, but this is faire warning, do not buy it! It is nothing more than the dreaded weed, the wild onion. It hides in lawn grass and remains incognito when mown regularly, but in those places where mowing does not occur, it is completely overbearing.

Not wanting to end on a negative, let us gaze upon the daffodil Narcissus ‘Audubon’ against the bluest spring sky, taking a break from weeding the rudest out.


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23 Responses to Allium Rudeness

  1. Lola says:

    I’m well acquainted with this obtrusive, unwelcome “guest”. She smells so loud that she can mess up the best smell. And to think brother & myself use to “cook” it when we were young. lol

    I always wondered if they were edible, but my neighbor told me they were much too strong. Cooking probably made them milder, but I will not be testing that theory!

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    This rudeness would drive anyone to distraction. Love the blue blue of the spring sky. I tried another small allium in my front garden and it did the same thing. I forget which one it was but it no longer lives here. I had to pull and pull to get rid of it.

    Rudeness in the garden is difficult to tolerate, Lisa. I am glad you took care of that uncivilized thug!

  3. gail says:

    I couldn’t agree more, the onion can be a rude visitor to the garden, over staying its welcome and ignoring rules. Thank you for the lovely look at the blue sky~It’s delightful and just what was needed on this cold and blustery gray day. xoxoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks for your support. Those glimpses of blue sky, especially when flowers are involved, and most especially when they are early daffodils make the world a happier place. Wild rude onions and all.

  4. julieadolf says:

    It’s so true…alliums photo bombed many of my GBBD shots as well! Rude little buggers…we fight the never-ending battle against wild onions here in SC. They’re rampant! Still, your post made me smile this morning, knowing I’m not alone in the battle.

    You are not alone, Julie, never fear! This rude allium is all over, near and far, high and low. We cannot win the war, but we can valiantly do battle.

  5. Oh dear, oh dear! I planted an allium just last summer. 😦 It has pretty variegated foliage but if it could produce this results, yikes! Thanks for the warning, Frances. Meanwhile, your lovely photos and lively commentary never fail to brighten my morning. Now where is that shovel?

    Georgia, your pretty allium is most likely not this wild one. I have many ornamental alliums that are very well behaved, they are not rude. Some think garlic chives are rude and uncontrollable, and they can seed about all over, but at least they are prettier and edible. This one, the rudest of them all has nothing going for it.

  6. commonweeder says:

    Oh dear, me too. I planted alliums because they were supposed to be deer proof. They weren’t totally bunny proof however. I still have a foot of snow, but now I am worried a bout the spread in my garden. Or maybe this kind of prolific spreading is just a problem in warmer climes? It is easier to look at your beautiful daffs and think that spring might evenually arrive on our hill.

    As long as it wasn’t “Hair”, you should be okay, Pat. The larger alliums are not at all aggressive. In fact, I wish they would spread. Spring is coming to us all, one of these days.

  7. I felt compelled to do a quick google search since you gave it an actual name and the first place it popped up (ha, my first accidental spelling was “pooped” up) for sale was on the White Flower Farm website. Ironically, the picture they showed of it looked exactly like wild onion left to bloom…what the heck? That doesn’t seem honorable. Thanks for the heads up warning.

    Thanks Michaele. I was sure that I had posted a photo of this rude allium on the blog, but could not find it. The flower looks identical to the one sold as “Hair”. There needs to be a warning label on it!

  8. Christy says:

    Hi Frances…Boy do I agree with you! This rude visitor invited so many “guests” to my garden and they’re having a BIG party out there. This year in particular I have so many in my flower beds. There is no way I can dig them all out…there are just too many…thousands of them. I’ve been digging out the really big ones and pulling the tops off of the smaller ones just to make the beds look better. Once I’m done with all the beds, I have to go back and start over. They are even growing up through the weed fabric I put down in Morrow Park. They are just hateful!!

    Hateful is the word, Christy! A friend once told me that if you cut the foliage off to the ground three times it would die. I have been working on that for decades and have not found it to be so. Digging the larger ones is a good idea, those are the ones that will bloom and set seeds.

  9. Cindy says:

    I recently discovered that the plant reseeding itself with mad abandon along the sidewalk was an Allium given to me by Otahal. I suspect the Head Gardener will consign the mother plants to that great garden in the sky!

    Beware friends bearing gifts of Alliums! Also, do not put them into the compost bin, or even through them over the fence. They will come back to haunt you.

  10. It’s rude here too. I keep pulling it up. ~~Dee

    I keep pulling too, Dee, but it only makes the garden look better for a time, then it comes back. So impolite!

  11. Karen says:

    I agree with all above. My friend gave me a few as a surprise. A surprise it was. Now both of us are on the war path to dig them all out. Well, I don’t think that will ever happen. Seems like the more you dig, the more come. Hair is cute the first season, and then he is your enemy . Should be outlawed for sure.

    Got snow again yesterday. We are all so ready for spring. Come on Mother Nature!!! Please,

    Some friend! Maybe they didn’t realize what a rude thug this allium is. Keep digging is all I can advise. It is snowing here at the moment, not sticking but it is cold. Spring will be very welcome when it comes for good.

  12. We have wild leeks here (ramps) and I never saw them flower. Maybe the weird mild winter last year was the cause? I will be looking again this year.

    Hi Kathy, I know the ramps set seed because Christopher offered me some one time. I refused them, politely. I am wary of gifts of alliums. My neighbors gave me garlic chives. Those are wonderful but need watching and deadheading.

  13. Virginia Callicott says:

    In one seed catalog received lately you could buy big quantities of dandelion seed, a non native but brought over for the greens. Honestly…

    I have some dandelion seedheads that I would give away for free…

  14. Alison says:

    Thanks for the warning! That’s one I haven’t planted, and now I’m glad! Does it at least smell nice and oniony when you cut it with the lawn mower? I’ve been moving some nodding onion lately, and I always come into the house hungry.

    I am glad to alert others to the problems of this particular allium, Alison. It does smell when cut and/or pulled, a giveaway that these are indeed alliums and not grape hyacinths.

  15. vwgarden says:

    Amen! I planted a bunch of ‘Hair’ and then let the seedlings all drop the first year and am now pulling out my hair over them – and trying to pull them all out before they take over. Good luck getting rid of yours.

    Hi VW, I am so sorry to hear that you fell for the cute photo of Hair in bloom. I am not sure it is possible to get them all out. These came with the property and there is no chance of getting them all, but I do pull and dig the ones that are offending my sensibilites the most. Especially when I am trying to take photos of the pretty bulbs and flowers in spring.

  16. Sue Ellen says:

    I have two such weeds that I find so hard to eradicate. We call them wild onion and wild garlic. They make taking any photos of the garden so hard in the spring. I keep hoping that I will be able to pull them all out but I don’t think it is possible. They were in our yard and gardens when we moved into our home 40 years ago and they will probably outlast me.

    Hi Sue Ellen, thanks for adding to the conversation. I think I know the wild garlic, it is a noxious weed here as well. They will both outlast us, for sure.

  17. karen says:

    I agree on “hair” but LOVE other allium so I think you would agree with sorting them oput on the good and bad list as follows: Good: ‘Globemaster’= the tallest, ‘Purple Sensation’, Christophii ( also called star of persia)+ the largest globe, senescence= cool foliage too but a bit smelly,
    ‘Gladiator’. I LOVE all of these!!
    Bad: garlic chives, chives, ‘hair’, tuberosum= self seed and or stink!, and these just because they died: azure, mt everest

    Thanks Karen. There are some fine allium cultivars out there, soooooo much better than Hair. Christophii is one of my favorites. Purple Sensation is not very good at blooming after the first year planted for me. Azurea died outright and the jury is still out on Mt. Everest. We need a cold winter for many of these better alliums to do well, so this should be a good year for them. I would like to mention Firmament as a good one, too.

  18. That sounds very aggravating! Glad to say that my Alliums are well-behaved, I have ‘Purple Sensation’ and ‘Globemaster.’

    It is aggravating, Jason. I am glad you have mannerly alliums. Purple Sensation is gorgeous but did not return for me. Christophii and Firmament are two of the larger ones that have done well in that department. I do love alliums, really.

  19. karen says:

    also add this one to the naughty self seed list
    allium sphaerocephalon drumstick

    Funny about that drumstick, Karen, it struggles here. I keep planting more of them! HA

  20. Elizabeth McLeod says:

    It must be an East coast phenomenon but we do not have that problem at all here in the Pacific Northwest. We love allium especially the giant globe flowers!

    Perhaps, Elizabeth. These wild onions are plentiful here, and noxious. Nothing kills them and digging them up always leaves some tiny bulblets behind to regrow. We do love the nice ornamental alliums here, but these ain’t them! HA

  21. sandy lawrence says:

    I actually want the drumstick alium. So elegant. Can’t grow the big globe ones here. “Hairy” is confined to a big pot and is promptly deadheaded. Ditto garlic chives. But those wild white ones and the pink clump ones that follow are everywhere! I keep them clipped ground level in the stone walkway and I’ve given up on the others except when I plant something and can dig the bulbs out then. I just (barely) tolerate them.

    Scary stuff, Sandy, that Hairy! HA I ordered the drumsticks last fall, going to try again to get them going here. I wonder if your wild ones are A. cernuum? I ordered those, too, and hope they spread. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

  22. Tee hee. Those obnoxious Alliums! I have the same trouble with Oak leaves–they’re everywhere in my garden. I find myself flipping them out of the photo, or sometimes I leave them in for contrast. Sometimes they’re more interesting than the plant that I originally thought would be the star of the photo. 😉

    Hi Beth, thanks for adding to the conversation here. For me, it is often a stray blade of stipa grass that I didn’t notice that creeps into the photo. These alliums are more pushy and can’t simply be brushed aside. The bulbs are hideously difficult to dig out and get all of them.

  23. They may be a rude visitor to the garden and they can be rampant. However, hellebores has medicinal parts and that is their rhizome and root.

    The hellebores are more than welcome here, and we do grow many, many types of alliums, too. But this particular wild onion is beyond rampant and is downright rude, there are thousands of them despite my years of digging them out. Sigh.

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