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Onions Allium cepa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um see-puh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Shallots are members of the onion family native to Asia.  They have a flavor described as somewhere between onion and garlic.  It is resistant to damage by deer and rabbits and can be planted near black walnut trees. The bulb will make several offsets during the growing season. The tops can also be used like chives but harvesting these will delay the bulb formation. The creamy bulbs are 2-3 inches long by 3-4 inches wide and depressed oval in shape. The outer covering is tinged with red, purple or brown. 

Plant bulbs in moist but well-drained fertile loose soils in full sun as soon as the ground can be worked in spring about 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. The bulbs are ready to harvest when at least 2/3 of the tops have died down. Dig shallots with a garden fork to prevent damage and allow to dry or "cure" for 2-3 weeks before using. Store in mesh bags or crates for good air circulation.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#rabbit resistant#black walnut#deer resistant#vegetable garden#vegetable#edible#cool season vegetable#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#rabbit resistant#black walnut#deer resistant#vegetable garden#vegetable#edible#cool season vegetable#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    cepa
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central Asia
    Edibility:
    The bulb and tops are edible raw or cooked. However, the plant also has poisonous characteristics as noted in the "Poisonous to Humans" section of this record. Toxicity can depend on the age of the person or animal, the age of the plant, the part of the plant ingested, how much is ingested, whether the person or animal has sensitivities or allergies, whether it's eaten raw or cooked, and so forth. Consult with a medical professional for further details.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers wither and convert to bulblets
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Small clusters of white or pink star or bell-shaped flowers with exerted stamens.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Long and green with a glaucous surface. Sheaths about 1/4 of the stem
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Hollow round stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia), blood in urine, weakness, high heart rate, panting
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    N-propyl disulfide
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No