Pearl Onion - Knowledgebase Question

Mcleansboro, IL
Question by wilanna
January 5, 2001
I wish to plant pearl (or cocktail) onions.... are pearl onions a separate varitey of onion or just 'picked when they're small" onions? Thanks, in advance, for your assistance.



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Answer from NGA
January 5, 2001

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Most pearl onions are produced from the species Allium cepa which is a separate variety than the traditional onion. In addition, there is another species of onion, Allium ampeloprasum L. var. sectevum that is often called pearl onion. The plants form a clump of small daughter bulblets which may be used as pearl onions. The small bulbs can be grown from seed, but more typically are produced from bulblets. At maturity each plant forms a cluster of short-stalked bulblets with silvery white skins. These are traditionally pickled as cocktail onions. Hope this clarifies things for you!


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