Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
ALLIUM cepa var. viviparum
The outlandish "flower heads" of Egyptian onion contain bulbs instead of blooms. Like other varieties of garden onion (known collectively as Allium cepa), they are biennials that originated in Central Asia but that are unknown in the wild.
The pale- to mid-green, hollow, awl-shaped leaves of Egyptian onion arise from a large, papery-coated bulb. In summer, spherical clusters of small bulbs ("bulbils") are borne atop tall stems. The clusters may also include a scattering of small yellowish-white flowers. Bulbils often begin to produce roots and shoots while still on the stem. The weight of the fattening bulbils causes the stems to eventually flop, resulting in new plants where bulbils contact soil.
Garden onions require full sun and regular watering because of their shallow roots. Grow them in loose, rich, well-drained soil. Plant Egyptian onion bulbs in late summer or fall for a crop of bulbils the following summer. Harvest the bulbils after the stems topple, and use them for pickling or in soups and stews. The bulbils store for months in cool, dark, dry conditions. Young Egyptian onion leaves are delicious in salads, baked dishes, and stir-fries.
9 - 1
4 - 9
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
4"-12" / 10.2cm - 30.5cm
Early Summer, Summer
Green, Light Green
Edible, Herb / Vegetable
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