Egyptian Walking Onions

Have you ever heard of this interesting plant? The Egyptian Walking Onion doesn’t have legs and isn’t from Egypt so how did it get its name? It has been said that Romani people (or as they are also known Gypsies) brought them to Europe from the Indian subcontinent. 

When the topsets become full and heavy enough, they will pull the plant over to the ground. If the soil conditions are right, the fallen topsets will take root and grow into new Egyptian Walking Onion plants, which is why they are called “Walking Onions”. They will literally walk across your garden!

All parts of the plant are edible. The first year the plant produces slender greens and young bulbs which can be used as a green onion. By the time the second year rolls around new leaves and topsets grow from the previous years clumps of onions! The tops form little bulblets, similar to a garlic bulb, instead of flowers, on the tip of their stalk. The onions are about the size of marbles.  

Soon, the weight of those top set bulbets begins to fold the greens over toward the ground. When this happens, if left to their own devices, those top sets will replant themselves and grow more onion plants. 

Sometimes a new leaf stalk will emerge from a cluster of topsets like a little branch, and a second cluster will grow from it, hence the name, “Tree Onion.”

This plant is a great one to have in your garden…just make sure there is some extra space for them to ‘walk’!

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