Perennial Plant of the Year 2018

Allium nutens millennium - "Millenium" -
Ornamental Onion Millenium


MilleniumEvery year the Perennial Plant Association sends each member a ballot to select a Perennial Plant of The Year. These plants tend not to be new introductions to the garden world, but plants that have been tested and thus proven worthy for nomination. They need to be suitable for a wide range of climatic zones. The plant chosen must be low maintenance, relatively pest free, and disease resistant. It must have multiple seasons of ornamental interest and be readily available for the year of promotion. After the selection the plant is promoted all across Canada and continental U.S.A.

“And who is the Perennial Plant Association,” you might ask? Mostly, it is a large group of greenhouse growers, retailers, landscapers, horticultural teachers, and “plant geeks” that work in our huge industry. The membership is large, and people join from all around the world and meet once a year at an annual convention. Here, we listen to speakers, tour greenhouses and nurseries, have a trade show, and in general, find out what the others in the industry are up to.

MilleniumIt began in 1990, when the first Plant of the Year was Phlox stolonifera. Next was Heuchera micrantha “Palace Purple” and from that time on each year another perennial was picked and promoted. Anemone hybrida "Honorine Jobert" was chosen for the 2016 season.

Most of the time the plants selected by the Perennial Plant Association are very hardy. With the exception of a very few plants that are not hardy at all, Vale's Greenhouse has always been very pleased with the choices for Perennial Plant of the Year, for the 2018 gardening season Allium millenium has been chosen.

The genus Allium contains over 700 species of bulbous or rhizomatous plants. All possess oniony
smelling flowers and foliage. The Genus name comes from the classical Latin word for garlic, all parts of this plant have an oniony smell and taste when cut or bruised, however this hybrid is considered to be an ornamental and is not used for culinary purposes. ‘Millenium’ is a true bulb on a stout rhizome, it forms a clump which can be lifted and divided in either spring or fall. Unlike many of the ornamental alliums, this hybrid is a clump-former which produces sterile seed and will not spread in the landscape

Millenium‘Millenium’ commonly called allium, is an ornamental hybrid developed by allium breeder Mark McDonough. Its hybrid parentage is unknown, but likely includes some A. nutens. Each bulb typically produces an upright foliage clump of slender, somewhat flattened, broad linear, grass-like, glossy deep green leaves which grow 6-12” tall in spring. The Compact upright clumps of glossy, thick, green leaves then produce 2 inch round rose-purple ball clusters that stand above the foliage on strong stems and will be 18 to 20 inches high by mid to late summer. Flowers typically bloom mid to late summer (July-August).
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun, but appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer days. Cultivar name suffers from a minor spelling problem. It is often spelled ‘Millennium’, but Mark McDonough apparently registered it under the name of ‘Millenium’