The bold and structural shape of the giant allium flower gains a lot of interest in our store every summer. This unique and textural bloom features a large ball-shaped flower head consisting of hundreds of tiny, densely packed, individual flowers. The flower head measures 15-20cm in diameter and stands on the end of a chunky, bare stem which can measure up to a metre in length. Allium flower is available in varying shades of purple and white on rarer occasions. It also comes in small, humble varieties but today we focus on the dramatic queen bee of the family, the allium giganteaum!
History of allium flower
The allium flower is a close relative of onion, garlic and shallots and is also known as flowering onion or ornamental onion. Despite onions being among the world’s oldest cultivated plants, allium flower is relatively new to the world of ornamental plants and cut flowers, first making an appearance mid-19th century. Allium flowers are said to originate from the Mediterranean and Europe but were most likely known in India, China, and the Middle East well before recorded history. Onions were used extensively by ancient Egyptians featuring in many of their drawings and inscriptions.
Allium flower symbolises unity, good fortune, prosperity, humility and patience, which makes them the perfect bloom to wish someone luck on a new endeavour. The word ‘onion’ is derived from the Latin ‘onio’ which means unity.
How to care for giant allium flowers
Buy giant allium flowers when about half of the miniature flowers on the ‘ball’ are open as they will continue to open in the vase. Cut approximately 2cm off the ends of the stems on an angle and immediately plunge into a tall vase of cool water. Keep allium flowers away from direct sunlight which can fade the colour of the blooms. Recut the stems and change the water every two days. You may recognise when the flowers are ready to be disposed of as the tiny flowers will drop and they have a slight but distinct oniony odour!
How to style giant allium flowers
You don’t need many of this bold bloom to make big impact! Display giant allium solo, or style a few stems staggered at different heights in an interesting feature vase to showcase the blooms’ dramatic shape and texture. Or combine a few stems with structural bare branches for a minimalist but sculptural arrangement.