Walking Onion (Allium cepa var. proliferum) aka Egyptian Walking Onion, Tree Onion, Topsetting Onion, Winter Onion, Multiplier Onion …
I planted some of the bulbils in full sun and some in partial shade. All grew but the ones planted in full sun were much more robust (as seen in photos below).
Walking Onion is a perennial onion that is easy to grow and is very hardy. It does not really walk. Got the name because the bulbils weigh down the flower stalk causing it to bend. Wherever the bulbils touch the ground. A new clump will grow/walk a little distance from the mother plant.
Early April, I start harvesting the tender greens with the bulbs as needed and use as scallion or spring onions substitute.
At this stage the flavor is very mild.
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By middle/end of May, the plants start to send out scapes (flower stalks). Can still be used as scallion (including the scapes) but the flavor is a bit stronger. Good for cooking.
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By early June, bulbils begin to form and the flower stalks become very stiff so as to be able to support the bulbils.
I have 2 different varieties of walking onion, one sends out straight scapes the other sends out curly scapes that is very dramatic in the garden. Both produce bulbils.
The bulbils on the straight scapes have pretty pink colors the bulbils on the curly scapes are not as colorful (note smaller bulbils growing from the first and much larger set of bulbils). Both add charm and beauty among my perennials.
I harvest the bulbils (around July) before the 2nd set of bulbils appears and use them like pearl onions. They are a bit of a pain to peel but soaking them in warm water for 10 – 30 minutes make the chore easier.
Walking Onions bulbils store very well. The July, 2015 harvest was still nice and firm as shown in the above photo taken on March 1, 2016.
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New bulbs form beside the flower stalk and send out new tender greens for fall harvest.
Look closely in the center of the photo and you can see clumping mature onion bulbs.
I harvest the mature bulbs and use in recipes calling for onions or shallots, the flavor is a bit stronger than shallots.
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The above photos shows what the Walking Onions look like after the winter (left photo taken February 29, 2016). Tidied up the area a bit (right photo taken March 1, 2016). In a few weeks I will be harvesting and enjoying tender walking onion greens and bulbs.
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