onion/garlic flowers

mainblaine456(5a)April 17, 2013

I love the giant allium ornamental onions and was wondering what type of flower would a bulb from the grocery store produce? Would it be purple or white? Does a red onion make a different flower than a white onion?

I know you usually dont let onions/garlic go to flower unless you want seeds but I am really curious if the flowers are anything worth while. I do love chives but can't seem to find chive bulbs at the store!


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To my knowledge, chives are the only edible allium that blooms pink. Regular onions and garlic produce white flowers that are not as showy as the ornamentals. You might want to get some garlic chives. The greens come on in the spring, then fragrant white flowers in August.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:28AM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

Garlic produces more bulbils (small bulbs) than flowers in the flower head, if they produce flower stalks (scapes) at all. Grocery store garlic is usually an artichoke variety, which tend not to produce scapes, though I've had them produce some small under-developed scapes from time to time. Some of the hardneck varieties produce impressive scapes over 5' tall, but the flower heads themselves are pretty small, though the bulbils are interesting.

BTW, if you want really interesting, as in bizarre, scapes, I have three words: Egyptian walking onions.

Regular bulbing onions and leeks produce 3-4" globe-shaped flower heads which are usually white to pale purple. I'm not aware of differences between red and white onions as far as flower color, but there could well be. Most bulbing onions are biennials, so you might have to leave the bulb in the ground over winter to see flowers.

Chives are best purchased as bedding plants or they can be started from seeds. They have very pretty little purple flower heads.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:39AM
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