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Population of showy white and pink flowers of slim-leaf or narrow-leaf onion (Allium amplectens). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close-up of the showy white and pink flowers of slim-leaf or narrow-leaf onion (Allium amplectens). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Bulbs of slim-leaf or narrow-leaf onion (Allium amplectens). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Slim-leafed Onion

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Allium amplectens

Slim-leafed Onion, also known as Narrowleaf Onion, flaunts tiny clusters of 10 - 50 white to light pink, umble-shaped blooms that are sure to brighten your late spring and early summer days. Be sure to plant this lovely wild onion in multiples to create attractive drifts that can successfully attract and support pollinators.  

  • Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant
  • Size at maturity: 0-1' high, 0-1' wide
  • Light requirements: full to mostly sunny
  • Moisture requirements: seasonally wet/moist soil to dry (see below)
  • Bloom time: May - June
  • Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: nectar source for adult butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators, attracts and supports beneficial insects, pest eating insects and hummingbirds
  • Native habitat/range: Locally common in arid areas that are wet in the late winter and spring such as dry rocky slopes, shrub-steppe, and vernal/wet meadows up to elevations of 7000 ft from CA to British Columbia. Portland Plant List - yes. 
  • Special features & uses: pollinator favorite, repels garden pests, deer resistant

Gardening with Slim-leafed Onion: Plant in full sun, or mostly-sunny areas, preferably with well-drained clay soil that is wet to moist in the winter, moist during the growing/blooming season, then dries out completely in late summer/fall. Bulblets reproduce easily and form dense clusters that can be divided either before or after they bloom. It also spreads slowly by seed over time.

Photo Credits: Seven Oaks Natives