Nodding Onion – Allium cernuum

Amaryllis Family  –  Amaryllidaceae

Actual flower size: 1/2 inch across

Actual flower size: 1/2 inch across

Plant Description: Nodding Onions has a 12  to 24 inch tall, bare stem with a U-shaped arch that ends in a bract with a drooping umbel of 12 or so nodding white or pink flowers. The 3 to 7 leaves are long, basal, grass like, and remain green long after flowering.

Flower Description: The tepals are 1/4 inch long, rounded at the tips and have a thin, often dark vein down the center.  The 6 stamens protrude beyond the tepals.

Ecology: Nodding Onions grow in moist, but well-drained soils from low to high elevations.


Nodding Onion has been moved from the Lily Family to the Amaryllis Family.  See “APG Changes” page.

Nodding Onion is the most widespread of the 30 or so native onions in the northwest US.

The leaves and bulbs have an onion smell.

 Nodding Onion Photo Gallery