Wild onions in my back yard. Can I eat them?

Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 03:29 pm
I just discovered a 10ft x3 ft patch of wild onions.
They are in a corner of my yard that borders 2 other yards. I thought, for the longest time that they were just a very thick green type of grass.
I just dug one up and they are tiny wild onions! I dont use any chemicals in the grass and aside from rain water, this patch of onions gets no diffrent treatment from the rest of the yard. I dont know how long they have been here since my family has only occupied this house for 4 years.
Im wondering if I can eat them?
How long before I can harvest them? What should they look like when they are ready?
Is there anything i should watch for if they are NOT good to eat?
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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 03:31 pm
feral onions? well, if you can catch them I'm sure you can eat them, especially if served diced on tofu.
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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 03:33 pm
Humm...we have them grow around here too, unless you make sure what your eatin'...I'd pass on them. Nothing like a belly ache from hell...

Call your County Extentsion Agency...usually they can tell you whether you can eat them or not.
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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 03:36 pm
Of the three species of wild onion we have in North Dakota, white wild onion is the first to bloom. We are well within the range of white wild onion, because it occurs on dry prairies from Alberta to Texas.

White wild onion is common in prairies with somewhat sandy or rocky soil. The plant is eaten by livestock, so it is best to look for it in pastures without a long history of overgrazing. The white flowers appear as one-inch wide clusters of ten to thirty on top of six- to twelve-inch stems. One or two wiry leaves grow from the base to the top of each plant. The perennial bulb lies about two inches underground.

The bulbs of white wild onion taste like a combination of onion and garlic. Many people find them delicious, but they are a little dry and rather difficult to dig.

Onions are members of the lily family (Liliaceae) which includes other edible forms such as garlic, leek, and asparagus, and also poisonous plants like death camas and hellebore. The generic name Lilium is the ancient Latin name of garlic. The specific name textile is from the Latin for "woven," in reference to the intricately intertwined fibers that coat the bulb. The onion was first described for science by Aven Nelson and James Macbride in 1913. Nelson (l859-1952) was a student of the Rocky Mountain flora at the University of Wyoming, while Macbride (1892-1976), another student of the West American flora, was associated with the famous Gray Herbarium at Harvard and later with the Chicago Natural History Museum.

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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 03:36 pm
3. wild onion - you have to be careful though, if what you think is a wild onion and it doesn't have an onion smell......then don't eat it.....it's not a wild onion but a poisonous look alike http://www.lib.ksu.edu/wildflower/wildonion.html

4. wild leeks or as a lot of people may know then by - ramps - these are some strong onions - same thing like the wild onion, if no onion smell, don't eat it. There is actually a ramp festival in Virginia. http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/alliumtric.html

Try this link: It looked interesting on foraging for your own food out of the yard..

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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2005 03:42 pm
cool. I will check those sites out.
yeah, the plant DOES smell like an onion. From a few feet away even! But I did not know there were poisious types of the onion?!! Hmm.. I need to check them out more and take some measurements on the bulbs and see if I can match it with some plant.
They have thick stems like green onions and so far the bulbs on the bottom are about the size of a nickel.

(( I will pack some and send them to you Dys, for your tofu dishes ))
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