Allium cernuum Nodding onion Z 4-8
Umbels of arching stems with nodding bells of lilac shading to pink, June – July.
Size: 12”-18”x 3-6” Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained soil, Deer resistant Native: Canada to Mexico, Wisconsin native Wildlife Value: attracts butterflies
Cernuum is Latin meaning “nodding.” Many groups of 1st Americans ate the bulbs raw, roasted or dried for winter storage or as flavoring for soups and gravies. Cherokee used this plant medicinally to cure colds, hives, colic, “gravel & dropsy,” liver ailments, sore throats, “phthisic,” and feet in “nervous fever.” Those in the Isleta Pueblo were not quite as creative as the Cherokee and used this only for sore throats and infections. Collected for garden cultivation by 1834.
Hystrix patula syn. Elymus hystris var. hystris Bottle brush grass Z 5-9
June thru fall bears 6” long spikes looking like bottle brushes
June thru fall bears 6” long spikes looking like bottle brushes.
Size: 2-3’ x 12-18” Care: sun to part shade in dry to moist well-drained soil - tolerates dry shade Native: Nova Scotia S to Virginia, W to ND and OK. Wildlife Value: Birds eat seeds
Hystrix from the Greek (‘hedgehog’) meaning “with spikes” or “bristly” describing the flowers and patula means “spreading.” Collected before 1794. In 1913 L H Bailey wrote, “sometimes used for lawn decoration and for borders.”