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ALLIUM fistulosum

Image of Allium fistulosum

James H. Schutte

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

ALLIUM fistulosum

Plant Common Name

Japanese Bunching Onion, Onion-leek, Scallion, Stone Leek

General Description

The fresh savory flavor of scallions tastes even better when they are harvested straight from the garden. Also called Welsh onions or Japanese bunching onions, these easy-to-grow veggies are a must for the culinary garden. They originate from Asia and were brought to Europe in the 17th century where they quickly gained popularity.

These evergreen perennials form clumps of upright scallions with small white bases and upright greens that are rounded and hollow. Their flavor is much like that of chives. Because they are evergreen, they are enjoyed as winter vegetables where hardy. There are a number of cultivars available that vary in bulb size, green density, vigor, leaf color, length and hardiness. Their ivory flower clusters appear in spring and are globular to somewhat conical in shape.

Like most veggies these require full sun and thrive in light, fertile, nutrient-rich soil. Regular moisture is needed for best growth. In northerly climates scallions should be sown in summer and in the south they can be sown in fall. They can be harvested in the late winter of spring. Their white somewhat bulbous bases can be lengthened if soil is mounded around the base of the onions; though newer cultivars develop white bases without mounding.

These are some of the best onions for early season vegetable gardens. They can be enjoyed braised or in soups, salads and stir-fries. They develop a sharper taste when subjected to high heat.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    3"-4" / 7.6cm - 10.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Asia, China, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes