Herb: Welsh Onion

Latin name: Allium fistulosum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Medicinal use of Welsh Onion:

The bulb is antibacterial, antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, stomachic, vermifuge and vulnerary. It is used in the treatment of colds and abdominal coldness and fullness. A tea made from the roots is a children's sedative. Use of the bulb in the diet impedes internal parasites. Externally, the bulb can be made into a poultice to drain pus from sores, boils and abscesses.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Edible parts of Welsh Onion:

Bulb - raw or cooked. A strong onion flavour, it can be used in salads, as a cooked vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods. The bulbs are rather small, perhaps 25mm in diameter, and are sometimes used as spring onions. A nutritional analysis is available. Leaves - raw or cooked. They have a mild onion flavour and can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves are often available all through the winter if the weather is not too severe. They contain about 1.4% protein, 0.3% fat, 4.6% carbohydrate, 0.8% ash, some vitamin B1 and moderate levels of vitamin C. Flowers - raw. A pleasant onion flavour, but they are rather on the dry side.

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.

Propagation of Welsh Onion:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates over a wide range of temperatures, it is faster at higher temperatures. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. When well-grown, the plants should be ready to be planted out in the summer. If they are not large enough at this time, grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring. Division of the plants is very easy and can be done at almost any time of the year though the spring is probably best. The divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Known hazards of Allium fistulosum:

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.