Written by : Lisa Bird
Photo by: Lisa Bird
Appearance: Wild Onion is a dainty native flower related to the giant garden alliums in the bulb catalogs. This 12” high charmer has white bell-like flowers in a rounded cluster above a slender leafless stalk. The gray-green, grass-like leaves usually form at the base, two to a flower stalk. It is one of the earliest wild flowers to bloom, starting in April and blooming to June.
Habitat: Found in the plains and foothills at elevations between 3,500 and 8,000 ft. Commonly seen along trails on dry slopes or hillsides, it grows in sun or in partial shade.
Landscape suitability: Wild Onion is perfect for rock gardens. Its airy flowers give a lacey appearance to the front of a border or when grouped in a naturalized area. Drought tolerant, once established, it grows well in most soils with good drainage, but will tolerate some clay.
Sources: Native Plant Master Manual, El Paso County; Colorado State University; 2008
Guide to Colorado Wildflowers, Volume 1, Plains and Foothills; G.K.Guennel;
Westcliff Publishers; 2004
Plants for Natural Gardens; Judith Phillips; Museum of New Mexico Press,
Santa Fe; 1995