Leaves - raw or cooked. They have a mild onion flavour and can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable. 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.Flowers - raw. A pleasant onion flavour, but they are rather on the dry side[K].
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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, it probably arose through cultivation from A. altaicum. The oriental forms of this species, known as bunching onions, tend to be hardier and more robust than the welsh onion. There are two basic forms, multi-stem types and single-stem types. The single-stem types divide less freely than the multi-stems. Plants will often retain their leaves even when covered in snow. They are also tolerant of high temperatures and can be grown in the tropics. The plants are often eaten by slugs[K]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other.Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Problems, pests & diseases
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