Allium christophii, also known as Star of Persia, is another eye-catching Allium. I have a few on the east side of the Crabapple Bed, growing up out of a border of Daylilies.
What’s striking about this Allium is, first, the size of the flower head, usually about 10″. To me it has a silvery sheen, but Anna Pavord calls it “grayish mauve”.
The shape reminds me of the geodesic dome from the 1967 World’s Fair of my childhood memories.
The stems are upright, so that the flowers do not flop. They are not known for naturalizing. In fact I wonder how long they will last in their present home, where the foliage is mostly hidden and does not have much opportunity to absorb energy from the sun.
They may not be one of the most beautiful Alliums, but they are one of the most interesting. I’ll enjoy them as long as they last.
“Eye-catching,” indeed! Lovely!
They are not expected to naturalize? That was part of the allure of alliums for me. I hope that some are reliably perennial here, or at least more perennial than more popular bulbs.
They seed around for me. The dry seedheads last a long time and can be placed decoratively where you’d like to see more.
Are they true to type?
Yes, as these are a straight species.
Oh, of course. I was thinking that they were one of the fancy cultivars. Many of those are likely sterile anyway.
(Not that I care. I would be pleased with something different too.)
Very true about the dry seedheads.
This is only my second year with them, but I have heard people say this is one Allium that does not spread. “Purple Sensation’ and ‘Globemaster’ certainly do.
by seed, or by splitting?
Both, I think.
They are amazing, almost artificial, like openwork gazing balls or something!
That’s a perfect description!
Yes, good description.
Really beautiful, Jason. They appear to be made of delicate metal.
I thought so, too.
I’ll take “Star of Persia” over “Allium christophii” any day. Starry indeed !
It does have a romantic-sounding common name.
Beautiful. They look like they would prick your fingers.
This allium is a nice surprise nestled among the daylily leaves. Their size is part of the delight, I think, and the subtle color, too. For me they were short lived, only three years. You have a great selection of alliums!
I created a very temporary garden sculpture from the dried seed heads one year. Spray painted a dozen in chartreuse, purple, and orange. Glued them to 4′ very slender dowel rods and “planted” them in a breezy spot to wave in the wind. They got beat up fast, but were fun to watch. Thanks for prompting the memory!
You’re welcome. I do have a fondness for Alliums, we haven’t even started on the summer bloomers.
I was surprised to read your mention of the 1967 World’s Fair. At first I thought it was a typo, since I had no idea there was such a fair that year. My high school band traveled to New York to play at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York — quite a trip for some Iowa youngsters. Now that I’ve looked at the various spheres that were featured at the various fairs, I agree: your allium’s a perfect representation of them.
I was 9 years old at the 1967 fair, just 6 in 1964. So I have clearer memories of 1967.
Star of Persia is one of my favorites. They came back year after year, but I didn’t see a lot of multiplying. Even after they lose color, they can add something to the garden. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, the flower heads are very attractive after they dry.
Interesting is right! downright fascinating.
That is a very beautiful, unusual allium, Jason.
It’s an unusual flower. One I’d bet would be a conversation starter.
I think they are gorgeous – remind me of fireworks!
Very striking flower, I haven’t seen any quite like this allium….great close up photos too.
I planted a few of these last year. I love the stars that make the bloom. I didn’t know they weren’t as prolific as the other alliums. I think I will get more this year and sprinkle them around.
They certainly make a visual impact.
My absolute favorite allium! Mine were extra beautiful and full this year here in Central Illinois.
That’s one that’s on my list to get at some point, just because it is so cool looking! I like the more unusual alliums, though they don’t seem to last as long in my garden either – there are several varieties I’ve grown that have gone missing.
There are probably dozens of kinds of plants that have gone missing in our garden over the years!
Very shine watching
“Open-work gazing balls”~ yes, that is what they were making me think of. Very cool.
I much prefer ‘silvery sheen’. They seem happy enough, I hope they settle in for the long haul.
They really are fascinating, like all alliums, and the silvery colour makes me think of metallic artwork. I think I prefer the dark purples though, or those white ones you shared recently.
Overall I probably like the blue and purple Alliums best. Many of those are summer-blooming.
These are fascinating. They look great in your border. I’ve bought lots of allium but still have none. Something must eat them?
Oh, I think they are stunning. They almost look like Christmas decorations.xxx
I could imagine them hanging from a Christmas tree.
Hello Jason, this is my favourite Allium and we have these in one of the borders. They have unfortunately reduced over the years but at least the bulbs are very cheap to replace. They also self-seed very, very easily, but it takes several years for the seedling to form a flowering-sized bulb.
I hate it when plants demand patience from the gardener.