Summer Beauty Ornamental Onion

Allium ‘Summer Beauty’

Description & Overview

Summer Beauty Ornamental Onion is a fine mid-sized onion for nearly any well-drained condition. They are drought tolerant and long-lived. This pink flowering onion puts on a show right in the heat of summer, later than most other onions in the allium family. Expect your onions to attract a range of pollinators like bees and butterflies, while unwanted wildlife like deer and rabbits avoid it.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 16-20 inches
Mature Spread: 12 inches
Growth Rate: Perennial
Growth Form: Clumping, Upright
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Dry
Flower: Lavender-pink
Bloom Period: July-August
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: N/A
Fruit Notes: Not significant

Suggested Uses:

  • Rock Gardens (these plants thrive in well-draining soil. Rocky soils provide great drainage),
  • Border Front (interesting flowers attract attention/sturdy flower stems won’t flop),
  • Cottage Garden (an informal planting where flowers take center stage. A romantic jumble of bulbs, annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, and climbers),
  • Naturalized Area (the native Nodding Pink Onion, Allium cernuum, will self-seed and spread over large areas),
  • Pollinator Garden (attracts bees, butterflies, and more!)
  • Container Garden (not much room to spread and seed, one single plant will remain small),
  • Cutting garden (unique flowers, fresh or dried, add interest to any bouquet).

Salable #1 Container. Pictures taken late July. Expect different measurements at different times of the year.

Wildlife Value:

Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Seeds are attractive to songbirds as a food source. Deer and rabbit resistant.

Maintenance Tips:

Summer Beauty Ornamental Onion is easily grown and maintained. It’s very drought tolerant. Foliage naturally dies back each year and can be removed if needed. This cultivar has sterile seeds and will not spread. Salt tolerant.


While onions in general have no serious issues, there are a few cosmetic (non-lethal) issues that can occur. Bulb rot may occur in soggy or waterlogged sites and is noticed by squeezing the bulbs to feel if they are soft or mushy. Potential insect pests include: aphids, vine weevils, slugs, snails, earwigs, spider mites, and thrips. Thrips are tiny insects that suck plant cells from almost any plant. Damage includes streaks, small white patches, or silvery speckling on leaves. All of these insects can be treated with a few treatments of insecticidal soap.

Leaf Lore:

The Genus name Allium comes from the Latin word for garlic. This cultivar is a winner of the Gold Medal Award presented by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. It is also sometimes called the Summer Beauty Lavender Globe Lily.

The bulbs have an extremely strong flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked first. Leaves can also be eaten raw or cooked and add a delicious, strong onion taste to any salad. Flowers can be eaten raw or cooked as well. Medicinally similar to garlic, the entire plant can be used to treat respiratory issues. The juice can be used to treat kidney stones, colds, and sore throats. It can also be used to repel moths, biting insects, and moles.

Companion Plants:

Anise-Hyssop, Coneflower, Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Rudbeckia, Cranesbill, Salvia, Shasta Daisy, Little Bluestem, Butterflyweed

All these plants attract other pollinators and have a wide range of colors for either contrast or consistency. Little Bluestem stays in the general size range but adds fall color when allium begins dying back.

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