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Allium cristophii
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

star of Persia

Bulbous perennial to 60cm tall, with strap-shaped, slightly glaucous leaves withering by flowering time. Star-shaped, rosy-violet flowers with a metallic sheen in globose heads to 20cm in width in early summer, are followed by attractive seed-heads; good for drying

Synonyms
Allium albopilosum
Allium bodeanum
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Pink Purple Green Grey Silver
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Amaryllidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Allium are bulbous herbaceous perennials with a strong onion or garlic scent, linear, strap-shaped or cylindrical basal leaves and star-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in an umbel on a leafless stem

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Eurasia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in full sun and fertile well-drained soil. It is best to grow in containers where garden soil is heavy clay and prone to saturation over winter. See allium cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed when just ripe or in spring; or propagate by offsets which can be carefully detached by lifting the bulb after flowering has finished. See bulb propagation

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Rock garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required, other than to remove old flowered stems and foliage

Pests

May be susceptible to allium leaf miner and onion fly

Diseases

May be susceptible to onion white rot, and onion downy mildew

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