GIANT ORNAMENTAL ONION Schubertii
Allium schubertii, which has various common names including ornamental onion, flowering onion, tumbleweed onion and Persian onion, is a perennial plant that grows from an underground bulb and which produces vivid green, strap-like leaves in the spring, which die back before it blooms. It grows to around 50 cm tall. These flowers consist of 50 or more star-shaped, rose-pink florets on stems of differing lengths producing a starburst effect which can be up to 30-45 cm (12-18") across! The desiccated flower heads eventually break off the dried out, dead stems and, blown around by the desert winds, cast their seeds abroad as they tumble around. The plants live for a number of years, and new plants can be created by saving the seeds from previous years flowers.
Allium schubertii has flower and seed heads that have been compared to fireworks exploding, and both are dried and used in flower arranging, and can even be sprayed with decorative paint and used as Christmas tree decorations. The American Horticultural Society recommends growing these bulbs in AHS planting zones 5-8. It appears, however, that they may be even cold-hardier than that.
Type: Hardy perennial
Hardiness zones: 5-8, and likely colder zones as well
Seeds per pack: 3
Germination: Place the seeds on the surface of the soil, water, cover with plastic, and place in a cold place for 5 weeks. Then bring to warmth and in a bright location. Keep continually moist until plants germinate. Do not bury the seeds, as they require light to germinate. Seeds germinate several weeks after the warming period.