Plant of the Month | Allium Christophii
Allium Christophii | Plant of the Month
As the days stretch out and the nights get shorter we can officially say we’ve entered the beautiful season of summer and, for once, the weather has been on our side. Our plant of the month for June is the beautiful sun worshipper, Allium Christophii.
This is an herbaceous, perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year to decorate your garden. It is part of the onion family along with garlic, spring onions, shallots, leek, and chives, which actually look like miniature alliums when they flower.
The Allium Christophii has a more common name, Star of Persia; this is given because the plant is native to Iran and the surrounding areas and produces a star shaped umbel of purple flowers which can stand up to 50cm off the ground.
Growing Allium Christophii
Gardener Stuart’s top tips for growing: “These beautiful flowers can be grown in any soil type and will survive even some of the harshest winters that we endure here in East Lothian. As long as it’s not sitting in water and has good drainage the Allium Christophii will continue to flourish. This particular flower is also a sun worshipper and prefers the opportunity of full sunshine. Allium Christophii makes a great plant for ornamental pots and borders giving added height to your design."
It can currently be found on our plant sale tables in full bloom as well as in the Archerfield Walled Garden, predominantly within the wildlife area and the pathway border outside of the walls. Even after it’s finished flowering Allium Christophiiwill still make a fabulous table decoration as it forms a beautiful dried seed head.
Why we love it
The Allium Christophii is a great plant to choose for a variety of reasons; here are three of our favourites:
1. They are super easy to grow – These really are a low maintenance plant, as long as they have drainage and sunshine they’ll do just fine. Leave them alone and don’t cut back the foliage as it dies off and this will provide the nutrients for next year’s growth.
2. You can grow them in a tiny garden – Only enough space for a couple of pots? Not a problem! Allium Christophii will grow quite happily in pots and small borders, just plant the bulbs to three times their depth and watch the magic happen.
3. They’re perfect bee fodder – The bees absolutely love these beautiful blooms and, because they flower from mid May, they’re some of the firs big hitters in the bee world. So, as far as we’re concerned, the more Allium Christophii the better!