Singular Appeal: Choosing Bulbs, Corms and Tubers

Bulbs, corms and tubers can brighten up a border, yield great flowers for cutting and provide year-round interest. Learn more about some of our favorites, here.

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Purple Sensation
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DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Allium

Who knew such an pungent vegetable could bear such sweet flowers? But for the allium - or, onion - that's the case. Shown here, the 'Purple Sensation' is precisely that. It looks stunning when planted with silver-leaved, shorter plants, and dries well for off-season arranging.

Other alliums that cut a "lollipop" shape include the ornamental onion, whose ice-blue blooms appear in early summer, and the Star of Persia, which produces hugs, pinkish-purplish flowerheads out of many star-like blooms. Their dried seedheads are spectacular in indoor arrangements.

Alliums grow to a range of sizes - check labels to be sure. Well-drained soil and exposure to full sun helps to prevent bulbs rotting in winter.

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