Allium sphaerocephalon

Allium sphaerocephalon is a small-headed rich, blackcurrant allium is later-flowering than most and invaluable for that. I love it in bud, as much as in full flower, very pretty and will gently self-sow. More
40 bulbs 260011-40 £3.95 Delivery late September
When in stock, please allow 2-3 days for despatch.
80 bulbs 260011-80 £7.95 Delivery late September
When in stock, please allow 2-3 days for despatch.
120 bulbs 260011-120 £10.95 Delivery late September
When in stock, please allow 2-3 days for despatch.

Or buy this as part of our Fantastic Allium Collection.

More Details

This small-headed, rich, blackcurrant allium is later to flower than most and is invaluable for that. I love it in bud, as much as in full flower, very pretty and will gently self-sow.

Genus Allium
Group/Species sphaerocephalon
Type Perennial
Common Name Ornamental onion
Border Position Border (Front)
Bulb Size 5/6

For more info on bulb sizes, click here.

Soil Type Broad Tolerance
Scent Unscented
Site Full Sun
Moisture Well-drained
Height 45cm (18in)
Spacing Plant 10-15cm (4-6in) deep, 10-15cm (4-6in) apart.
Sowing, Seeds, Planting Plant outdoors September-November.
Care Tips Plant 15cm (6in) deep, 20cm (8in) apart. These are perennial and long-lasting so plant them somewhere permanent. Removing the tatty foliage in spring doesn't appear to affect the bulbs.
Flowering July - August
Vase Life Add a drop of bleach to the water to minimise the oniony smell or change the water regularly. They will look good for up to 2 weeks without rearranging.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • Sow Under Cover/Plant Indoors
  • Direct Sow/Plant Outdoors
  • Flowers/Harvest
Advice & Videos
Gardening at home with Sarah | May Tulips

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Growing plants one on top of another gets the most out of every square inch of your outside space.

What to do with your allium seedheads

Sarah shows you her favourite allium varieties for drying, and talks about how to dry them and then spray them for Christmas decorations.

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Look to nature to create stylish decorations for the festive period, from items foraged from the hedgerows or collected from your garden.

Preserving flowers and berries in autumn

Preserve your autumn flowers and berries and you'll have beautiful arrangements for Christmas.

Planting numbers for bulbs in borders

A handy guide for how many alliums, narcissi, tulips, snowdrops and other bulbs to plant in your plot.

How to plant and grow allium bulbs

Sarah's top tips on how to plant and grow allium bulbs for fantastic flowers in the garden or vase.

Planting artichokes with alliums

Sarah talks about why and how you should grow artichokes and alliums together.


Bulb Delivery - When in stock, please allow 2-3 days for despatch.

Click here to find out more information about our delivery rates and times.

Allium sphaerocephalon reviews

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Reviewed 31st August 2019 by Rebecca

These are stunning and provide much needed height and colour in my borders. They’ve been much admired by friends and adored by bees. Perfect!

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Reviewed 13th August 2019 by Judy

They don't stand up well.
I also bought the acidenthra/gladiolus mix and several of the gladiolus are pale pink, not the currant colour.

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Reviewed 17th July 2019 by Hello Jo

I have given 4 stars as the lilys i purchased were to be giant and only 2ft tall rather than 1.5 meters as described on the product

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Reviewed 7th July 2019 by Hello Helen

Service is excellent - unfortunately the bulbs did not flower. Disappointed.

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Reviewed 5th July 2019 by Hello Pippa

None of these came up did I really buy them in the end?

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Linda

Less than 40 bulbs have come through, disappointing .

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Patrick

All have flowered well .bees love them as do butterflies ,but so far this year there hasn't been many of either .very pleased .

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Julia

I spent quite a bit on bulbs to only get 4 come up. My soil is a raised planter and imported so I dont think that was the problem

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Helen

Of the 40 bulbs purchased only about 10 have come up.

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Keri

So we ordered 80 of these and only a few came up ! I think they are normally prolific but I have my suspicions that my sisters Hampstead Gardeners may not be as knowledgeable as they should be !!! They may have cut them down when they took out tulip leaves -as I cant believe that so few have come up - but as my sister is not a gardener - I cant really say for sure- So even though I have given low score it may be an unfair review
All the products I have had from Sarah have been great and if any bulbs have arrived a little mouldy, they have always replaced and always given fantastic service. If you haven't visited the garden - you should and I did one of her courses - Pots and Plants which was incredible so I would always recommend Sarah Raven. I teach Pilates for Gardeners and we always say little pricey but worth the excellent quality of plants

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Claire

I love these alliums but only about half came up, I don't, sadly, have 80 buds swaying in the wind. Whether it was mice, my planting, I don't know. However, I still love them.

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Reviewed 4th July 2019 by Hello Alida

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Reviewed 28th June 2019 by Helen

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Reviewed 27th June 2019 by Shani

These are all coming up and just about ready to burst into colour, so far so good

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Reviewed 27th June 2019 by Clare

Love these and such good value. Need to plant some in pots to pop into spaces in the garden next year.

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Reviewed 26th June 2019 by Sue

I know once I have these they will go on for ever.....keep popping up!!!

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Reviewed 26th June 2019 by Sue

Not all these bulbs came through but I may not have planted them all to the right depth.

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Reviewed 26th June 2019 by Ellie

Not one of these bulbs came out. Extremely disappointing!

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Reviewed 26th June 2019 by Jennifer

Haven’t flowered yet, good rate of emergence and tall plants

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Reviewed 20th September 2018 by Kaeli

Lovely bulbs, thank you.

Best alliums in a small garden

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Reviewed 15th July 2017 by HEIDI THACKER

Absolutely love these as the leaves are much smaller and more graceful like grasses almost - will be planting more this autumn

A spectacular sight

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Reviewed 10th July 2017 by Gillian Moulder

A must for every garden, I planted mine close together in large drifts and they look fabulous. Smothered in all types of bees it seems they can't get enough of them! Good quality fresh bulbs and every one is in flower, perfect for the summer border

The Bees Knees

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Reviewed 23rd July 2016 by Karen

I bought these from Sarah Raven last year, and every bulb was lovely and firm and every one has come up. They look fabulous through my stipa tenuissima and they are smothered in bees, such a lovely sight and a lovely sound. Highly recommend these bulbs, and I will be back for more before long.

Loved by honey bees

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Reviewed 9th August 2015 by Sue Mills

I've really enjoyed these throughout July and now into August and I am not the only one, these are adored by honey bees, several exploring each head every time I go to look.

A Must for the Nectar Bar

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Reviewed 16th June 2014 by Arthur

I planted this last year in drifts. At the time of writing the deep blackcurrant blooms are looking fantastic and almost everyone has a bee clambering around upon it. Its a great allium to look forward to seeing as all the other types have long since finished flowering.