Common Name Wild leek, perennial leek
Edible greens, flowers, root, scallions
Similar to normal onions, but with a cluster of bulblets where a normal onion would have flowers. The phenomenon of forming bulblets instead of flowers is also seen in garlic and other alliums, which sometimes may also be referred to as top onions or tree onions. The bulblets are usually marble-sized, between 0.5 cm to 3 cm in diameter. Genomic evidence has shown that they are a hybrid of the common onion and the Welsh onion (A. fistulosum) Tree onion bulblets will sprout and grow while still on the original stalk, which can bend down under the weight of the new growth and take root some distance from the parent plant, giving rise to the name "walking onion"
The small bulbs at the top of the flowering stem can be eaten raw or cooked. They are often used as pickled onions or added to salads. As long as the bulbils are dried properly at harvest time, they store well. Bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked. The bulb can be up to 4cm in diameter, often developing tough skin. Chopped into slices, it makes a good addition to salads and can also be used as a vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods. Leaves used as scallion, can be eaten raw or cooked (should not be harvested in quantity if you want good yield of bulbils)
The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. The plant juice can be used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled onions is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites.