Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Egyptian Walking Onion

Here's a fun and edible plant. We called them Egyptian onions back in the 70s, and I acquired one for our Princeton garden a few years ago. It's a perennial that grows like a scallion in the spring, then starts forming something interesting on top.

They grow new plants at their tips, sending out new leaves like slow-motion fireworks.

You can see the bulbs of new plants at the tip.

The weight of the new plants causes the main stem to bend over until the new plants touch the ground and take root. Thus, the term, "walking onion". The plant has its own website where you can scroll down to get more details about growing and eating.

Other plants use this strategy, including a sedge called green bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens), a much less edible plant that grows in wetlands around Princeton and sprouts new plantlets at the tip of its leaves in midsummer.

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