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Allium fistulosum - L.

Common Name Welsh Onion
Family Alliaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[76].
Habitats Cultivated for over 1000 years, it is not known in the wild.
Range E. Asia, possibly western China, though the original habitat is obscure.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Moist Soil Full sun
Allium fistulosum Welsh Onion


(c) 2010 Ken Fern, Plants For A Future
Allium fistulosum Welsh Onion

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Allium fistulosum is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked[2]. A strong onion flavour, it can be used in salads, as a cooked vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods[22, K]. The bulbs are rather small, usually 10 - 25mm in diameter though they can be up to 45mm[266], and are sometimes used as spring onions[183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Leaves - raw or cooked[2]. They have a mild onion flavour[183] and can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable[116]. The leaves are often available all through the winter if the weather is not too severe[K]. They contain about 1.4% protein, 0.3% fat, 4.6% carbohydrate, 0.8% ash, some vitamin B1 and moderate levels of vitamin C[179]. Flowers - raw. A pleasant onion flavour, but they are rather on the dry side[K].

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 1.4g; Fat: 0.3g; Carbohydrate: 4.6g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0.8g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antifungal;  Antipyretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Stomachic.

The bulb contains an essential oil that is rich in sulphur compounds[283]. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, stomachic, vermifuge and vulnerary[176, 218]. It is used in the treatment of colds and abdominal coldness and fullness[176]. A tea made from the roots is a children's sedative[218]. Use of the bulb in the diet impedes internal parasites[218]. Externally, the bulb can be made into a poultice to drain pus from sores, boils and abscesses[254].

Other Uses

Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[20].

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant[203], it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1] but tolerates most soils[1, 52] including those that are damp and acid[203]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7.5[206], but it tolerates a pH in the range 4.9 to 7.5. A very hardy species, it is related to the cultivated onion (A. cepa) and could be of value in breeding programmes. It is sometimes cultivated in the garden for its edible leaves which can be produced throughout the winter if the weather is not too severe[K]. A very popular cultivated vegetable in the Orient[206], it probably arose through cultivation from A. altaicum[203]. The oriental forms of this species, known as bunching onions, tend to be hardier and more robust than the welsh onion[206]. There are two basic forms, multi-stem types and single-stem types. The single-stem types divide less freely than the multi-stems[206]. Plants will often retain their leaves even when covered in snow[206]. They are also tolerant of high temperatures and can be grown in the tropics[206]. The plants are often eaten by slugs[K]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants[203]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates over a wide range of temperatures, it is faster at higher temperatures[206]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. When well-grown, the plants should be ready to be planted out in the summer. If they are not large enough at this time, grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring. Division of the plants is very easy and can be done at almost any time of the year though the spring is probably best. The divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Allium acuminatumHooker's Onion, Tapertip onion32
Allium aflatunensePersian Onion, Ornamental Onion22
Allium akaka 32
Allium altaicum 32
Allium ampeloprasumWild Leek, Broadleaf wild leek53
Allium ampeloprasum babingtoniiBabington's Leek33
Allium angulare 32
Allium angulosumMouse Garlic32
Allium atropurpureum 32
Allium bisceptrumAspen Onion, Twincrest onion32
Allium bodeanum 32
Allium bolanderiBolander's Onion32
Allium brevistylumShortstyle Onion32
Allium canadenseCanadian Garlic, Meadow garlic, Fraser meadow garlic, Hyacinth meadow garlic42
Allium canadense mobilenseCanadian Garlic52
Allium carinatumKeeled Garlic32
Allium carolinianum 32
Allium cepaOnion, Garden onion53
Allium cepa aggregatumPotato Onion43
Allium cepa ascalonicumShallot53
Allium cepa proliferumTree Onion53
Allium cernuumNodding Onion, New Mexican nodding onion52
Allium chinenseRakkyo42
Allium condensatum 32
Allium cupanii 32
Allium douglasiiDouglas' Onion32
Allium dregeanumWild Onion32
Allium drummondiiPrairie Onion, Drummond's onion32
Allium flavumSmall Yellow Onion, Ornamental Onion22
123

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

266

Links / References

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Readers comment

Judith Gilliland   Mon Sep 8 2008

where can i buy seeds/plants ???

Mrs Pamela Robins   Tue Mar 31 2009

where can I but the plants/seeds please

Claire   Tue Apr 28 2009

If you are in the UK you should be able to find them on EBay (I've noticed people listing them for the last 3 months or so). Some garden centres here may have them too in the herb section (that's where I bought mine).

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