Those are types i grow and those little bulbs are delicious.
Some years back, there was a webpage called heirloom onions.com They are gone now (last I knew) but sold several varieties of “walking onion” as well as a bunch of other interesting perennial alliums. I wish I had acquired more of their stuff while I had the chance. They also provided some good info about each selection they offered.
According to what I read there, the commonest “Egyptian walking onion” is the reddish Catawissa walking onion (someone else mentioned that) It’s distinguished also by the fact that it routinely makes double top sets - ie, the top sets have even smaller top sets of their own. They’ll actually make triples sometime, with the topmost one being flowers.
They also offered a white walking onion known as either Fleener’s or Fleemer’s toolset onion. It’s quite distinct, with pure white bulbs that are quite a bit milder. They can be harvested much later too, as the common catawissa type gets woody once it starts to send up its “flower” stalk.
They are also reputed to make a fairly substantial sized bulb, though I’ve not had success in getting them past golf ball sized or so. In an old turn of the 19th century book I have, I found some info about growing these type of topset onions as bulb onions. The crux of what it said is that vernalization induces division of bulbs and flowering, so if you dig the bulbs and store them somewhere warm, then spring plant them in very rich soil, they’ll essentially act like a store bought onion set and make a large bulb. I’ve tried this but without substantial success. I’m sure daylength is a factor, and perhaps 41 degrees latitude just isn’t right for getting these things to bulb up. The little white Fleener’s bulbs are nice to dig through the summer though. I particularly like ‘em grilled whole
I also grow Dutch shallots and the closely related potato onions, including some derived from Kelly Winterton’s Green Mt Multiplier. They’re easy and productive too, and generally more used than the walking types which, in their defense require nothing of us. The dream would be (and remains) to have a large bulbing storage onion that can be grown from a topset.
i put them in as seed and know they are growing but other than that i havent really kept a eye on them or harvested any yet.
These are similar to the ones I inherited from generations but mine are white, not red! I could trade a few with you if you want a white one.
I don’t know how many I should plant to start out with but I ordered 30. If they produce as I expect this should be more than enough after they get going. Heirloom Egyptian Walking Onions.
I’ve been growing the Green Mountain and the Yellow potato onion. I’ve mainly been focusing on increasing my stock the past few years so I haven’t eaten many of them. The Green Mountain have been significantly bigger.
Rabbits love my walking onions. The old batch i had here they located when the onions were 6" tall. They ate the greens and dug up the ground to get every bit of the bulb.
Maybe I have too many other things that the rabbits like to nibble, but I have a million rabbits, but none have ever bothered my walking onions. As a matter of fact, I have no pest trouble at all with walking onions. Just weed ingrowth.
I planted three of these a couple years ago and now have a patch. we eat the tops and some of the green but the bulb underground is woody and blech. I usually toss one or two baby bulbs into the ground around the patch each year. no idea how many there are now but you only need a few to start with if you’re patient (and lazy). mine are the red ones
If I understand correctly, walking onions don’t store well. Some of these might not grow but I’m okay with that as long as I can get enough to grow for a good start. When can I expect to have a few bulbils to sample?
The next year after you plant them the tops will bulb in kansas.
I immediately planted the onions after getting them. After carefully sorting out the small and soft sets I put them into a one gallon container and I didn’t expect any to survive. To my surprise all of them started to grow. I’m not sure what’s going on with the one on the right side. Could it be pushing a top set of bulbs?
Not yet they will be greens this year. Next year or two they will be loaded with bulbs. Typically their cycle is 3 years.
Looks like the original seed. But it grew from the bottom instead of the top and pushed it up.
they are bullet proof at least here. can use them for bulbs or greens. ive given away dozens
of bulbils to people and i still have alot.
I think animals spread them here cause I occasionally find them popping up further away from the original colony than they could have walked (no way they’re walking across my driveway on their own… lol).
Here is a curious variety.
Great-Grandma Pfeifer Walking Onions
Here is a very good page about walking onions…history/cultivation/varieties… very educational.
It looks like there are brown, red and also a white Topsetting/Egyptian/Walking onion.
Im not sure if mine are white/red or brown… im only a year into my clump and its doing very well