What makes these onions unique is that they form a cluster of tiny "bulblets" where other onions would only produce flowers. The onions emerge from the ground in early spring and continue to grow all season long, eventually reaching up to three feet tall. At this point, the bulblets are too heavy for the tall, thin plant to hold them up, so the plant falls over and the bulblets hit the ground forming roots and new plants where they land. Hence the term, walking onions!
|Little bulblets from the top of the plant.|
The whole plant can be eaten, with the main onion in the ground appearing similar to a leek with a pungent flavor. The young greens can be tossed into a salad, and the bulblets are great for pickling. These perennial plants are very prolific and will yield bigger topsets of bulbs each year and will produce new onion bulbs in the soil so you can even divide the plants each year.
|Occasionally the plant will grow tiny flowers with the bulblets.|
Since we just planted them this summer, next year we may only see greens pop up, but the year after that they should be well established and come in at their full potential. They are very hardy plants able to withstand cold winter temperatures, so they should be just fine in our climate here in Missouri.
For more information on these neat onions, you can visit this site. From there you can even order some if you wish, or if you're lucky, maybe you know someone who will give you a few starts from their plants!
Do you have walking onions in your garden?