Egyptian walking onions, also called tree onions, perennial onions, winter onions, or just walking onions belong to the allium genus, Allium proliferum.
They prefer growing in full sun, are extremely hardy and easy to grow. I find these onions are fascinating to grow in the garden. They are one of the first plants to poke through the ground in the spring. At the top of each stem a small bulb starts to grow. From this develops the onion for next year. When the plant gets top heavy the stem bends over and the little onions plant themselves into the ground.
After several years if left to do this on their own the onions would “walk” around your garden. I will pick off the little bulbs to replant where I want them to be and I also give them away at Seedy Saturdays and to friends so they can watch the fascinating growth in their own gardens.
If you don’t want the onions to ‘walk’ or spread around the garden, just snip off the bulblets.
The bulbs measure only 1/2 to 1 inch in length and look like small purple/red onions. Plant these little bulbs just below the surface of the ground with the green shoot (if there is one) poking out.
They can be planted in the Fall or in the spring. Fall is best as they will start growing and give you new plants in the spring. In fact in the Fall they will plant themselves if you have left the little bulbs on the plant.
The plant is edible. You can eat either end of the plant, but usually you dig the plant and eat the bulb below the ground, and save the top for planting or sharing. There is quite an ‘onion’ smell when they are lifted from the ground. You can use the greens (stem) like chives, and chop to add to salads or soups. I would recommend doing a taste test first to see if you like the taste before adding to your food.
I’ve started my garden journal for this year and these onions are always one of the first plants to poke through the ground. Here are photos in 4 different locations of how they were growing at the end of March 2018.
Here is a printable bag topper or a printable seed label if you are sharing your bulblets with others.