The Alliums are a well-known genus of plants more commonly referred to as garlic (A. sativum), onion (A.cepa), ramps (A. tricoccum), shallot (A. cepa var.aggregatum), chives (A. schoenoprasum), leek (A. ampeloprasum) and others. While there are many ornamentally bred alliums, many of the culinary varieties are beautiful on their own accord.
These plants have few downsides that I have found. They are relatively pest resistant, require little maintenance, distract pests, and attract pollinators.
While there are many benefits, there are a few optimal conditions for alliums as well. They generally prefer medium soils with medium moisture and cooler climates, although there are widely adapted varieties for most regions.
Alliums have distinct blooms, looking like a small pom-pom or firework. For those garlic heads I don’t harvest, I enjoy leaving the seedheads to self-sow and for aesthetic value in the later months. Many varieties, such as chives, are cold hardy and add green to an otherwise brown garden throughout the winter months.
Watch-outs: Depending on the variety, some alliums, especially wild varieties, can be very resilient. Some call this invasive. I call it well-adapted. If you get a variety such as Egyptian Walking Onion (A. x proliferum), be sure it is planted in a space you are okay with it spreading.