Allium wallichii is something of an oddity among the extensive Allium genus, which includes more than 600 species. It comes from the Himalayas, where it grows from bulbils produced at the end of stolons at altitudes of more than 2,000m in relatively damp meadow. It flowers in late summer – from August to October – and doesn’t start into growth until late spring, with its leaves beginning to die back at a similar time to the early blooming alliums. It’s a purple-pink colour with large, round umbels, made up of fine, star-shaped flowers.
Height 45cm. Origin Himalayas, southwest China. Conditions Moist soil; full sun to part shade. Hardiness RHS H7. Season of interest Late summer to autumn.