Blooming in my garden is the most diminutive of flowers.
These petite purple fireworks are Japanese Ornamental Onions or Allium thunbergii. Native to Japan, Korea and Coastal China, Allium thunbergii can often be found growing at the edge of a woodland. The hollow, grass-like foliage has a mild oniony smell, but does not have any culinary uses.
Allium thunbergii likes really well-drained soil and full sun. Bulbs may be planted in the spring or fall. (I was gifted a few bulbs from a friend. Thanks Donna!) Seeds are best sown in the spring.
The cultivar Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa' has mauve-purple flowers that are slightly larger than the species. Allium thunbergii 'Alba' has white flowers with yellow anthers and a green centre.
It's hard to get a sense of scale from these closeup shots, so I placed a red apple in front of the flowers.
That's Piper reaching for what he figures is a ball. His long nose gives you a sense of how small these flowers really are.
Allium thunbergii reach only 6-12 inches in height and form a clump of about the same size.
Allium thunbergii are prized for being the last of the ornamental onions to flower (anywhere from September to November depending on your garden zone. USDA hardiness zones 4-9).
Even frost and snow are not a problem for these tiny flowers!