Forelock Allium Allium 'Forelock'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
allium 'Forelock'


Allium 'Forelock' is a striking ornamental onion characterized by its unique flower heads which give the impression of a tousled hairdo or a tassel. The blossoms are typically a deep maroon or burgundy color, with a contrasting tufted top that consists of longer, protruding flowers that sway above the main cluster, giving the plant its name. These whimsical flower clusters emerge from spherical buds that unfurl to reveal the eye-catching display. The individual flowers are small and star-shaped, closely arranged in a rounded or slightly oval inflorescence. The foliage of 'Forelock' is also noteworthy – elongated, strappy leaves that are a bright, glossy green, often forming a lush mound or tuft at the base. The leaves tend to wither away before the flowers reach their peak, putting the dramatic flower heads on full display. This ornamental onion emits a faint, typical onion-like fragrance when the foliage is disturbed or bruised, though it is primarily grown for its visual appeal rather than its aroma.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Forelock Allium, Forelock Ornamental Onion

    • Common names

      Allium 'Forelock'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Allium 'Forelock' is commonly known as ornamental onion. All Allium species contain compounds known as organosulfides, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. However, ornamental onions, like other Alliums, are generally not considered highly toxic to humans. Symptoms of poisoning are rare, but in large amounts, ingestion could potentially lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    • To pets

      Ornamental onion is toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs. All Allium species contain compounds that can be harmful to them. If a pet ingests a large amount of ornamental onion, it could lead to symptoms such as gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. More severe cases of poisoning can result in damage to red blood cells, leading to symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, and pale gums, which is a condition known as hemolytic anemia. If you suspect your pet has ingested this plant, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (91 cm)

    • Spread

      1 feet (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: The Allium 'Forelock' has unique, attractive flowers that add visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, this plant is fairly drought-resistant, making it suitable for xeriscaping or areas with water restrictions.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care once planted, making it ideal for gardeners seeking plants that don't need constant attention.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Deer and Rodent Resistance: The Allium 'Forelock' is resistant to deer and rodents, reducing the risk of damage from these animals.
    • Long Blooming Period: It has a lengthy blooming season, offering a long period of visual appeal.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is adaptable to a variety of soil types, as long as there is good drainage.
    • Cold Hardy: It can survive in colder climates, making it a viable option for gardens in regions with cold winters.
    • Culinary Use: While not a general benefit, some allium species are used in cooking, and 'Forelock' could potentially be used as an ornamental in a kitchen garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The twisty and curly flowers of Allium 'Forelock' can be used in floral art for their interesting shapes and textures, providing a novel element in contemporary design.
    • Due to its long-lasting blooms, Allium 'Forelock' can be used as a natural dye source, with the petals and stems capable of producing colors for textiles and crafts.
    • Since Allium 'Forelock' is resistant to deer and other pests, it can be employed as a protective border around vegetable gardens to help deter animals from feasting on more vulnerable plants.
    • The tall, sturdy stems of Allium 'Forelock' make them suitable for inclusion in wind chimes or garden mobiles, where their seed heads can add a visual element when dried.
    • Allium 'Forelock' can be planted in fallow or erosion-prone areas as a soil stabilizer because its root system helps to bind the soil and prevent erosion.
    • When dried, Allium 'Forelock' flowers can be used in potpourri mixes to add unique shapes and an onion-like scent which can be an interesting twist aside from the usual floral fragrances.
    • The stately and unusual floral spikes of Allium 'Forelock' can be used to create natural fencing or barriers within a garden, directing foot traffic or framing a garden path.
    • Allium 'Forelock' can contribute to biodiversity in a garden, serving as a food source for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects during its flowering period.
    • By planting Allium 'Forelock' near aphid-prone plants, it can act as a companion plant, potentially repelling aphids and saving other plants from infestation due to its natural repellent properties.
    • The robust nature of Allium 'Forelock' makes it a good candidate for creating dried flower arrangements, which can last for an extended period and require no water or special care.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Allium, commonly known as ornamental onion, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Allium, commonly known as ornamental onion, is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Unity: Alliums, as a group, often symbolize unity or togetherness, due to their globe-like clusters of flowers, representing the coming together of many small parts to create a whole.
    • Patience: The growth habit of alliums, with their development from bulbs into tall flowers, can be indicative of patience and the reward of waiting for something beautiful to emerge over time.
    • Strength and Resilience: Alliums are hardy plants that can grow in a variety of environments, symbolizing strength and the ability to withstand adversity.
    • Good Fortune: In some cultures, alliums are thought to bring good luck or ward off evil spirits, possibly due to their strong aroma and potent medicinal properties.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Allium 'Forelock', commonly known as the Mohican Allium, should be watered deeply to ensure the moisture reaches the roots, but it must not stand in water as this can cause the bulbs to rot. An ideal approach is to provide the Mohican Allium with about 1 inch of water per week, adjusting for rainfall. During active growth in spring and early summer, it's crucial to maintain a consistent watering schedule. Once established, these plants can tolerate some drought, but they perform best when kept evenly moist. During the dormant period after flowering, you can reduce watering frequency.

  • sunLight

    The Mohican Allium thrives best in full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade. Ideally, plant it in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. These plants grow well when they are positioned in a spot where they can soak up the morning sun, which is less intense, and receive some afternoon shade in hotter climates to protect them from scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Mohican Allium prefers moderate temperatures and can survive in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 10. They can handle temperatures down to about -20°F and up to 90°F while in growth. The ideal temperature range for these plants is between 60°F and 75°F for optimal growth. They can acclimate to temperature fluctuations as long as they are not extreme or prolonged.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Mohican Allium is mainly for aesthetic purposes and to prevent self-seeding if not desired. Deadhead the flower stalks after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance and to direct the plant's energy back into the bulb for the next year’s growth. Prune back the foliage only after it has died back naturally in late summer or early fall.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for ornamental onions (Allium 'Forelock') should be well-draining with plenty of organic matter. A blend of garden soil, compost, and sharp sand or perlite is ideal. The pH preferred by ornamental onions ranges from 6.0 to 7.5, generally on the neutral side.

  • plantRepotting

    Ornamental onions (Allium 'Forelock') are generally not repotted as they are perennial plants that are grown from bulbs. However, the bulbs can be lifted and divided every 3-4 years to maintain vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Ornamental onions (Allium 'Forelock') are tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and do not require any special humidity conditions; average outdoor humidity is sufficient for them.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light and well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-draining soil, space bulbs 6 inches apart.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Allium 'Forelock', commonly known as "Forelock Allium", begins its life cycle when a seed germinates in well-draining soil, ideally in early spring or fall. Emerging seedlings develop into a bulb, which is a critical stage for storing energy. The plant sends up slender, green leaves and a sturdy stem as it matures. In late spring to early summer, Forelock Allium blooms, producing distinctive tufts of maroon-purple flowers with curiously extended topknots. After flowering, the plant sets seed, completing the reproductive phase, and the foliage begins to die back as the plant enters dormancy. The bulb rests underground during this dormant period before resuming growth in the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The Allium 'Forelock', commonly known as the Forelock Allium, is typically propagated by dividing its bulbs. The best time for this is in late summer to early fall, after the leaves have withered, which indicates that the plant has gone dormant. To propagate the Forelock Allium, carefully dig up the clump of bulbs and gently separate them, making sure that each division has at least one growing point or shoot. Replant the bulbs immediately at a depth three times the height of the bulb, spaced about 8 to 12 inches apart to provide enough room for growth. Water the newly planted bulbs thoroughly to help establish them. This method harnesses the plant's natural reproductive cycle and ensures the development of true-to-type offspring, which will mature and flower in subsequent seasons.