Friday, December 25
Nodding Onion One Seed Chicago 2010
Nodding Onions are a native perennial plant that grow from bulbs that are longer than they are wide. The leaves are flat; unlike the onions you may have in your kitchen, but have that onion-like smell, and taste, that makes them unappealing to Mammalian herbivores.
Nodding Onions bloom between July and August and last about a month before setting seeds. The scape (stem) of the Nodding Onion is about a foot tall and bends down at the top, causing the umbel of flowers to point toward the ground. On days when there is a breeze in the garden you'll spot the flowers bobbing up and down as if nodding in agreement. Plant them at the edge of garden beds and paths where they can be set off on a nodding frenzy when they're brushed up against.
While deer, rabbits and pesky squirrels may stay away, during the blooming season they're frequented by bumblebees, honey bees and small short-tongued bees. Bee mimics are also regular visitors of the flowers but they're not doing much pollinating, instead they feed on the pollen and nectar.
The prairie areas around Chicago that Nodding Onions once occurred in has been destroyed by development so it is rare to see outside of gardens and restored prairies. Ask five Chicagoans how the City got its name and you'll probably get five different answers. However, Nodding Onion is one of the plants often credited with being the source for the Algonquin Indian word, "chigagou," which supposedly means something along the lines of "stinky onion."
Don't turn your nose up at Nodding Onions, they're very agreeable plants.
Voting is now open, click here to fill out your ballot and you'll receive the seeds for free in the mail after April 24, 2010. Feel free to comment below and discuss this plant with your fellow gardeners. Just remember that leaving a comment here does not constitute a vote. You'll have to fill out the ballot so we can mail you the seeds.