Allium siculum by any other name…

Allium bulgaricum (Nectarosecorum)

…would still be my favorite plant in the garden this week.

Sicilian honey garlic

It goes by so many names, and they seem to be more or less interchangeable: Allium bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum); Allium siculum bulgaricum; plus the common names: Sicilian honey garlic, Sicilian honey lily, Mediterranean bells.


The most informative description I found was on Wikipedia. My own experience has been that it grows best in dappled shade and is one of the few members of the genus Allium to reliably come back and even multiply.


I’m counting on it to continue doing that, so that eventually there will be a colony big enough to offer up a few stems for bouquets. It has all the attributes I value: long, sturdy stems; a lax umbrel of bell-shaped flowers; interesting foliage (triangular in cross section, strappy and twisted); muted colors with a striped pattern. Find more favorites by visiting the Danger Garden, and why not join in while you’re at it?

11 thoughts on “Allium siculum by any other name…

  1. I love this one too ; and the bees and hummingbirds love it best at the moment. I’m a bit miffed that only one came back, can’t remember how many I planted …more than one.

  2. I love the antiquey shades of this plant and the elegant droop of the flowers. It’ s odd how the seed heads turn up and point skywards. It does self seed when it’ s happy though and can become a nuisance.
    I wish they could make up there minds what it is called and even whether it still is an Allium.

  3. Grace~Thank you.

    Linda~I’ve not found them at all tricky, so by all means plant more.

    Alison~Scheeper’s is a good source.

    Chloris~I always assumed they were making new bulbs down there. Seeding around would bother me not at all.

    Loree~I have them in several locations where they thrive, so can’t be all that tricky.

  4. I always thought that Allium had a unique form, and I can see it would be a great accent cutting for bouquets. I have Drumstick Allium, and it works pretty well in bouquets, too, except that it’s a little petite–so I have to use quite a few stems to get any effect. I really enjoy some of the larger Alliums, and I’ve been meaning to add some to my garden. I like the color of this one, too.

  5. One of my favorite alliums, too. Love the muted colors and graceful, pendulous blooms. I’m amazed that yours appears to stay upright. Mine always flop and then arch back up. I wonder if it’s because mine are in full sun and yours are in shade…

  6. PP~The drumsticks are the other alliums that keep increasing in numbers. This year it looks like there will be plenty for bouquets.

    Evan~Yes, I think dappled shade is the answer.

  7. I remember this plant from my early gardening days. I got an allium mixture from Lowes or Home Depot, thinking they all alliums were globes. When I saw this, I assumed it was a mistake and ripped it out. Stupid me. I’m a bit smarter about alliums now, although I still can’t tell the difference between the foliage of drumstick allium and onion grass. Gotta wait til its buds are developed.

  8. Sarah~The drumsticks do indeed travel incognito until those telltale buds appear: easy to mistake them for something else. So many alliums, so little time.

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