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ALLIUM CERNUUM | Nodding Onion

  • Allium Cernuum  (Nodding Onion)
  • Allium Cernuum | Nodding Onion
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Product Description

Nodding Onion (Allium Cernuum) is a stunning, easy to grow perennial growing 1 to 2 feet; white to pink flowers at the top of an arching stem and blooming from July through August.   The nodding habit may protect nector from rain. Likes rocky woodland soils from New York to Georgia, west to Texas; west from Minnesota and Michigan to British Columbia.  Small Halictid bees pollinate the flowers.  Deer Resistant.

Nodding Onion" - Liliaceae Family

Allium is the ancient Latin name for garlic and cernuum is from the Latin word for "drooping or nodding".

Sun Exposure                  Savanna, Prairie
Soil Moisture Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic
Bloom Time Summer
July, August
Bloom Color White, Pink, Purple
Max. Height 2 Feet
Wetland Code FAC-
Germ Code  C(60)
Seeds Per Packet 300
Seeds Per Ounce  7,600


Native American tribes (especially the Cherokee) used the bulbs of Nodding Onion as a treatment for croup, colic, colds and fevers. Following a dose of Horsemint tea, the juice of Nodding Onion was taken for kidney stones and dropsy. Poultices of this species often applied as a treatment for respiratory disorders by early settlers. Most of the medicinal effects of Nodding Onion are similar to, but not as strong as its cousin, Wild Garlic.

Edible Uses:
Bulb: Raw or cooked. Strongly flavoured, it is mainly used as a flavouring. The bulb is about 50mm tall and 15mm wide.

Leaves: Raw or cooked. A delicious, strong-onion flavour, they are very nice in salads. The leaves are available from spring until the autumn and are one of the most favourite onions we are growing on our Cornish trial grounds.

Flowers: Raw or cooked. A delicious strong onion flavour, somewhat stronger than the leaves especially if the seeds are starting to set. They make a very decorative and tasty addition to the salad bowl.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant has mild medicinal activity similar to the action of garlic (Allium sativum). It is used specifically as a poultice on the chest for the treatment of respiratory ailments and the juice has been used in the treatment of kidney stones. The juice of the plant is used in treating colds, croup, sore throats etc. A poultice of the plant is applied externally to various infections such as sore throats, sores, swellings, chest and pleurisy pains.

Other Uses:
The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. The juice can be applied to exposed skin in order to repel biting insects.

Product Videos

Nodding Onion - Allium cernuum blooming at Ion Exchange (01:50)
Earthyman views priaire plant, Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) in bloom at native seed and plant nursery in northeast Iowa. http://www.ionxchange.com
  • Nodding Onion ...
    Earthyman views priaire plant, Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum)...
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