The Main Plant entry for Onions (Allium cepa)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Onions.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Bulb
Uses: Vegetable
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Ca (Calcium)
Na (Sodium)
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects

Common names
  • Onion
  • Garden Onion
  • Shallot
  • Multiplier Onion
  • Edible Onion
  • Scallion
  • Potato Onion
Matching plants under this entry
  • Allium cepa
  • Allium cepa var. cepa
  • Allium cepa var. solaninum
  • Allium cepa var. viviparum
  • Allium cepa var. multiplicans
  • Allium cepa var. bulbiferum
  • Allium cepa var. aggregatum
  • Allium cepa var. proliferum
  • Allium x proliferum

Photo Gallery
Location: My Garden, Ontario, Canada
Date: 2019-06-18
Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on perennial onions #pollination
Location: Gardenfish garden
Date: May 26 2021
Bountiful harvest
Location: Opp, AL  Z8b
Date: 2023-01-12
Location: Blaine TN
Date: 2018-06-01
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2010-06-08
Location: Blaine TN
Date: 2018-06-03
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Botanical Garden near Brussels)
Date: 2010-06-06
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2015-04-21
Location: Aberdeen, NC (my garden 2022)
Date: May 6, 2022
Onion #8vg, LHB page 246, 35-2-2, "Latin name for garlic."
Location: Hortus Camera Lapidea
Date: 2014-05-25
Location: Indiana  Zone 5
Date: 2008-06-22
gathered tops
Location: Opp, AL  Z8b
Date: 2022-12-27
Onions seem unaffected by 4 nights in the teens.
Location: Tarlton
Date: 2018-06-03
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-06-17
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-07-03
Companion plant for roses
Location: Copenhagen Botanical Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2013-06-28
Egyptian Walking Onion topsets
Location: Cordoba, Argentina

photo credit: H. Zell

Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo by Leo Michels
Location: Vermont
Date: 2010-07-05
Location: Tarlton
Date: 2018-06-03
Location: Cambridge University Botanic Garden
credit: Magnus Manske
Location: Long Island, NY 
Date: 2013-04-26
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2010-06-23
Location: central Illinois
Date: 4-26-12
Location: Wilsonville, Oregon 
Date: 2016-06-27
I have never seen this happen until now

Rasbak at nl.wikipedia [GFDL (
Uploaded by dave

photo credit: H. Zell

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Norfolk, VA (USDA zone 8a)
Date: 2012-04-16
Egyptian walking onion - Allium cepa var. proliferum
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Oct 25, 2013 2:48 PM concerning plant:
    I like to grow onions from sets each spring as I like to use the green shoots for cooking and salads. Just look for the onion sets, usually sold by the pound, in local nurseries in the spring.

    This year my sets didn't really set onions, so I just left them in ground and, much to my surprise, they started growing again in the fall.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 20, 2013 10:14 PM concerning plant:
    "Onions are cultivated and used around the world. As a foodstuff they are usually served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can also be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when chopped and contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes. Consumption is believed to benefit health in that onions contain phenolics and flavonoids that have potential anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anticancer and antioxidant properties.

    Common onions are normally available in three colours: yellow, red, and white. Yellow onions, also called brown onions, are full-flavoured and are the onions of choice for everyday use. Yellow onions turn a rich, dark brown when caramelized and give French onion soup its sweet flavour. The red onion is a good choice for fresh use when its colour livens up the dish. It is also used in grilling and char-broiling. White onions are the traditional onions that are used in classic Mexican cuisine. They have a golden colour when cooked and a particularly sweet flavour when sautéed.

    Eye irritation can be avoided by cutting onions under running water or submerged in a basin of water. Leaving the root end intact also reduces irritation as the onion base has a higher concentration of sulphur compounds than the rest of the bulb. Refrigerating the onions before use reduces the enzyme reaction rate and using a fan can blow the gas away from the eyes. The more often one chops onions, the less one experiences eye irritation."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:

Plant Events from our members
NikkiGerena On July 10, 2017 Maintenance performed
Cut down to 4"
NikkiGerena On June 8, 2017 Maintenance performed
Cut down to 4"
NikkiGerena On May 14, 2017 Plant emerged
NikkiGerena On May 8, 2017 Transplanted
WebTucker On April 7, 2022 Obtained plant
Mielikki On March 23, 2024 Harvested
Eventually ate.
Mielikki On February 23, 2023 Miscellaneous Event
Grocery store onion sprouted in the pantry. Planted on 2/23/2023.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Not Allium obliquum by growitall Mar 21, 2014 9:10 PM 6

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