Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Unusual Top-Setting Onions (Naturalized)
I found these onions growing all over the property. They are very small with a bulb about the size of a pearl onion, with minute top-setting onions and flowers. The top-sets are similar to what you would see on the Walking Egyptian Onion, only these are tiny and have flowers as well. The taste of the greens is similar to shallots, very mild, and the roots taste like a mild onion with a hint of potato. I think they taste pretty good. I haven't found the exact variety, although they are variable and seem to be a landrace having naturalized all over the property. Some people have suggested that they are pre-Civil War Era original pearl onions, nothing like we know today. I wonder if the loss of top-setting onions like this is due to marketing and making gardeners buy onion seeds or started plantlets every year. I'm thinking about crossing these with a large purple storage bulb onion since these top-setting onions oddly have flowers and top-sets which I think is pretty rare. I would love to have a large purple storage onion that multiplies by top-sets. If any of you have more information about these, then let me know.