Herb: One-Leaved Onion

Latin name: Allium unifolium

Synonyms: Allium grandisceptrum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Medicinal use of One-Leaved Onion:

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Moist soils in pine or mixed evergreen forest in the coastal ranges of California.

Edible parts of One-Leaved Onion:

Bulb - raw or cooked. The bulbs are 10 - 15mm in diameter. Together with the young shoots, they are fried and eaten. Leaves - raw or cooked. Flowers - raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

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 One-Leaved 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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist soils in pine or mixed evergreen forest in the coastal ranges of California.

Known hazards of Allium unifolium:

Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very 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.