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Search for White Potato onions

Posted by mark_fields z5 MO (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 29, 06 at 15:35

It's time for my annual post on this subject - in hopes that something has changed.

For several years now I've been searching for the White Potato Onion. They were last known in SSE about 10 years ago, but are lost. In fact from my searches of the various collections in the US, I believe it extinct.

If you know of any I'd be interested in hearing from you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Search for White Potato onions

Take heart Mark. I remember back when the SSE was looking for the Red Potato Onion. I don't recall if others found them. But one day we found a couple in my wife's grandparents' garden. I sent samples out through the SSE before heading out of the country for a couple of years. So these still could show up.

Tahlequah, OK

RE: Search for White Potato onions

I had them in my CSA share from Harmoney Valley Farms this year. So I know that they are still out there. I can ask the farmers from my CSA if they know of a source.

RE: Search for White Potato onions

Here is what I got back from them;

*****, What we call potato onion is a perennial multiplier that makes a cluster of small bulbs that look like a yellow shallot, but have a strong onion flavor. We have harvested our bulbs now and are drying for storage until we plant them in mid October when we are planting garlic. The bulbs store very well! They appear to produce seed on a seed stalk, but we have never collected any. We only propagate them from the bulb to be used as an early green onion/scallion. We should have enough to sell 5 or 10 lbs and then the people looking for them could increase them from that start. Hope this helps.

RE: Search for White Potato onions

Thanks for checking. As you can see, one of the problems in finding the true white potato onion, is that many folks now call the white multiplying onion by that name.

A good rule of thumb is to ask how big an individual onion may get. The White Potato Onion easily reaches 3 inches across and some as big as 4, though these don't usually keep very well.

Hopefully, they will show up in a trade or garden somewhere and make it back into garden circles.

Thanks for checking.

RE: Search for White Potato onions

i have ordered white potato onions from abundant

RE: Search for White Potato onions

I just this morning heard from Mark Sattelmeier at Abundant Daylilies that, "we do not have enough this year and are not selling them this year." Bummer.

Last Spring I got through eBay what purported to be yellow potato onions and planted them. Just dug them up to dry. It looks like we got back our seed, but not much more, and the biggest one is smaller than a golf ball. I'd REALLY like to have multiplier onions of some sort that produced reasonable sized bulbs. I'll re-plant mine in a raised bed with amended soil and see if that gives better results. I also have yellow potato onions on order from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I'll plant those, too, and see what happens.

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