The flavour of onion
is required for all sorts of dishes, and we rely
on the varieties listed above or on chives. There
are, however, other types of onion which can be
used but have never become popular. Welsh onion
(Japanese bunching onion) is a perennial producing
clumps of hollow leaves up to 2ft (60cm) tall
– an excellent evergreen substitute for
spring onions. A similar but smaller plant raised
from bulbs rather than seeds is the everlasting
or everready onion. These are leaf onions –
if you want unusual bulbs then you can do no better
than grow the tree onion – a perennial which
produces its bulbs at the top and not at the bottom
of the stems!
Sow welsh onion seed in March in drills ½in
(1cm) deep and 1ft (30cm) apart. Thin the seedlings
to 9in (23cm) spacings and remove leaves as required.
The clumps will increase in size each year but
quality deteriorates – lift, divide and
replant every 3 years.
Use the leaves of the welsh onion as a substitute
for spring onions or chives.