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Giant Allium?


I live in the south east of England and have three very tall single stem plants appear in a dry corner of my garden which I don't recall planting.  At first I though they may be maize and figured that they may have seeded as scatterage for the neighbour's bird feeder.

Then long necks grew which looked like garlic scapes and I thought they must be some sort of onion that I had forgotten.  Incidentally crushing the leaves gives a mildly onion smell.

They are now over 6 feet tall (one almost 7) and self-supporting.  I am now worried that the tips may not be flowering buds, or be blind and I will never discover what they are.

The person in this thread - - seemed to have the same plant growing, but did not get resolution.  Their photo, halfway down shows the maize-like stem off well.

Can anyone tell me what these may be, as I am still on the page of some giant allium?

Thank you.


  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,368
    It is a allium or part of the allium family, I have some called Allium summer drummer same flower buds and are about 5ft tall at the moment .
  • edited June 2019
    My Allium sphaerocephalon have not flowered yet, in South East too, but have grown really tall this year and look similar.

    Can you remember planting any alliums?

    Are the leaves broad or narrow?  My giant alliums all had large broad leaves with other varieties having narrower leaves.

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 3,501
    edited June 2019
    If the lower half of your plant looks like the ones on the thread you linked I would agree with Perki and say Allium Summer Drummer but I don't think they would have just appeared in your garden. If the leaf arrangement is different, could be something else.

    I seem to remember another thread in the last couple of years where somebody bought Allium Giganteum but ended up with Summer Drummer or something similar. The below is Allium Summer Drummer for comparison.

    Wearside, England.
  • Vicky S, your picture is exactly like the thing I have, so I am going along with yours and Perki's suggestions that these are Summer Drummers.  I am now very much looking forward to their summer display.

    I notice that these are readily available on the RHS website and we have an RHS garden nearby, which my wife now says she has a recollection that she may have bought some sort of alliums at last year. 

    I am stressing on this no longer and accepting that these are that vaguely remembered purchase and that she forgot planting them, for as has been pointed out, they wouldn't have just appeared.

    Thank you all
  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 3,501
    Hope they do well for you😊
    Wearside, England.
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