Herb: Nodding Onion
Latin name: Allium cernuum
Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)
Medicinal use of Nodding Onion:The whole plant has mild medicinal activity similar to the action of garlic (Allium sativum). It is used specifically as a poultice on the chest for the treatment of respiratory ailments and the juice has been used in the treatment of kidney stones. The juice of the plant is used in treating colds, croup, sore throats etc. A poultice of the plant is applied externally to various infections such as sore throats, sores, swellings, chest and pleurisy pains.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Ledges, gravels, rocky or wooded slopes and crests ascending to high altitudes.
Edible parts of Nodding Onion:Bulb - raw or cooked. Strongly flavoured, it is mainly used as a flavouring. The bulb is about 50mm tall and 15mm wide. Leaves - raw or cooked. A delicious, strong-onion flavour, they are very nice in salads. The leaves are available from spring until the autumn and are one of the most favourite onions we are growing on our Cornish trial grounds. Flowers - raw or cooked. A delicious strong onion flavour, somewhat stronger than the leaves especially if the seeds are starting to set. They make a very decorative and tasty addition to the salad bowl.
Other uses of the herb:The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. The juice can be applied to exposed skin in order to repel biting insects.
Propagation of Nodding Onion:Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.
Cultivation of the herb:Ledges, gravels, rocky or wooded slopes and crests ascending to high altitudes.
Known hazards of Allium cernuum:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.