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Wild Onion — The Grow Network Community
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Wild Onion

So I’m guessing that’s what this is? Smells like onion and growing everywhere right now. Has anyone used it? Any recommendations? Is it disgusting? A delicacy not to be missed?


  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin

    @Megan Venturella Not sure where you are, so not sure what kind of onions you have in your area but they certainly look like onion species. The wild onions in my area are Nodding Onions (Allium cernuum). They don't grow in clumps like this, more individual in habit and their stems are a bit flatter. I'm wondering if yours are Wild Chives (Allium schoenoprasum).

    At any rate, I'm a fan of all the wild onion species, regardless of what kind. Excellent stuffed in the belly of freshly caught trout on the grill.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,604 admin

    I use them constantly! The smell is the tell. I'm counting the days to ramp (wild garlic/leek) season!

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,226 admin
    edited February 17

    They grow here. I use them all the time. Onion smell and taste and it should have a white flower? (mind is sleeping today) and a small seed head later. We would use that seed head for flavoring

  • nicksamanda11nicksamanda11 Posts: 240 ✭✭✭

    We love wild onions! I dry them and grind them and make a wild onion powder that is awesome sprinkled in everything. I chop them up and sprinkle to garnish soups. I chop them up in salads. I put them in egg salad. I put them on sandwhiches. Such a handy (and FREE) spice.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 422 ✭✭✭✭

    Ok, I’ll be brave and try it. If I do anything amazing I’ll have to post it here. Thank you!

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,226 admin

    Dig a small piece up @Megan Venturella It should have very small slim bulbs if its a wild onion like I think

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    We enjoy leeks. They are good on potatoes, in soups and on salads :). They are a mild tasting onion.

  • marjstrattonmarjstratton Posts: 390 ✭✭✭

    Just a note of caution. We do have a onion like wild plant here in Washington state (and I believe other places in the western US) call the death Camus. Looks very much like the edible variety. Can't quite remember what the difference is, because I learned about them many years ago. But I believe that the poisonous variety has a bad smell to it. Can't find my books right now that had reference to it.

  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    It looks like wild onion to me as well. It was rampant in parts of NC and I loved it. My kids called it onion grass because it was literally everywhere in our yard! Enjoy your lucky find!

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin
    edited February 19

    @marjstratton is correct about the cautions for Camas species. There are two in my area. Zigadenus elegans – Mountain Death Camas and Z. venenosus – Meadow Death Camas. 

    In my area Meadow Death Camas grows in the same relatively dry habitat as Nodding Onions. They are often seen growing side by side. Both have grass like leaves but the Death Camas has wider blades and may have stems leaves which are lacking in the Onion. Both have similar looking bulbs but Death Camas is missing the strong onion odour of Allium species. Once flowering has started they are much easier to distinguish. The Death Camas has a clustered, conical, terminal head of small, white bell-shaped flowers yellowish green centers and long stamens. Mountain Death Camas flowers are more saucer-shaped and less numerous than the Meadow Death Camas which is primarily found in the montane and alpine areas Both are extremely poisonous neurotoxins, causing reduced respiration, blood pressure and heart rate and can be fatal if not treated immediately. 

    But as stated, onions have an unmistakable onion odour. So if that is missing, don't harvest it.

  • marjstrattonmarjstratton Posts: 390 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the information. I just knew that Death Camas is nothing to mess with. I didn't even realize there were two of them. I did know that the nodding onions are in the same area.

  • SuperCSuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 369 ✭✭✭
  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,226 admin

    @SuperC It just has a nice onion taste sop I use it in anything where I want hint of onion. Tacos would be fine, sauces. I think I used to break it up and use it in salads.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin

    @Denise Grant I agree, onion flowers are excellent in salads. The nodding onions in my area have a lovely lavender coloured flower. Very pretty in salads as well as tasty.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 422 ✭✭✭✭

    These smell like onion. Great reminder to be cautious, though! I still haven’t cooked with them! But I’m thinking they’d be great mixed with pork and made into won ton or added to pan-fried fish.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 422 ✭✭✭✭

    So JUST IN CASE anyone was holding their breath, we finally tried the wild onions. My son used them to make Korean green onion pancakes and they tasted great! I wish I had taken a picture:’(

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,226 admin
    edited March 11

    @Megan Venturella The photo you took looked just like what I have growing and I love that plant! Its so much fun finding these incredible plants in you backyard or nearby.

    How I first found mine was mowing. I wondered why I could smell onion and a few minutes later peppermint. They were only growing a few feet apart

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella They look just like wild onions to me. My parents and their parents etc cooked them into scrambled eggs..they are really good as long as you like scrambled eggs and green onions.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,073 admin

    @Megan Venturella Glad you got brave and tried them. Now you have another delicious addition to many dishes. Try drying them for winter use, too.

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