Allium cepa L.


Herb with flattened-spherical bulbs. Leaves up to 10, linear, basal or sheathing, shorter than stem, d-shaped. Inflorescence to 1 m, stem hollow, spathes 3. Flowers numerous, bulbils often present, 3-4.5 mm long, star-shaped; summer. Tepals white with green midveins, spreading. Stamens longer than tepals, free. [A. ascalonicum, a name of uncertain application]

Not known outside cultivation but probably derived from plants native to western Asia.

One of the world's most widely cultivated vegetables. Grown in full sun.

Aggregatum Group: Bulbs clustered, bulbils lacking in the inflorescences (onions, spring onions, shallots).

CEPA GROUP: Single bulbs with no bulbils in the inflorescence, usually grown from seed.

Proliferum Group: Bulbils numerous in the inflorescences (tree onions).

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Alliaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Amaryllidaceae
genus        Allium L.