Allium cepa L. - Onion

Allium cepa plant

Family - Liliaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Allium cepa bract

Flowers - No info. yet.

Allium cepa flowers

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Cultivated and uncommonly escaped to waste ground. Also persistent around old homesites.

Origin - Native to southwestern Asia.

Other info. - This is the common "Onion" of culinary fame. This species can be found growing wild in just a handful of Missouri counties but it is cultivated nearly throughout the state. There are many different varieties grown around the world for food and for ornament. Some varieties produce showy flowers, some produce tasty, large bulbs and few to no flowers.
As most of us know by now, cutting an onion can make your eyes tear. The chemical responsible for this is syn-propanethial-S-oxide. To read more about the chemistry of onions, check out this link.

Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 6-24-03.


Back