bronze fennel

Dec. 2 Floral advent calendar: Allium amethystinum 'Red Mohican'

I’ve seen the new Allium amethystinum ‘Red Mohican’ described as the punk rocker of the plant world, and that’s not a bad description. Mohawk comparisons aside, when I first saw this plant in July at the Parham House annual garden weekend, what first drew me to it was its color. It is one of my favorites, an unusual deep, bricky red that reminds me of the desert Southwest.

The flowers aren’t large, being comparable in size to the much more common Allium sphaerocephalon, so I imagine it would take quite a few of these still-expensive bulbs to have much effect in a border design. I did see ‘Red Mohican’ used this way in a small section of garden at Parham, below, and I liked the effect especially next to the bronze-leafed fennel.

Because of its novelty and sophisticated color, I suspect we’ll be seeing more of ‘Red Mohican’ soon. Will it be the “it” plant of Chelsea 2019?