Welsh Onion

Welsh Onion in garden bloom.

The welsh onion is probably known to most people from the vegetable counter of the local supermarket. Delicious are the tube-shaped leaves as a substitute for chives and the fine, tender onions.

But the welsh onion is not only a wonderful vegetable, cooked or in salads, it is also a valuable medicinal plant that combines the pleasant with the useful.

Its healing powers range from cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, strengthening of the stomach and intestines, to antibacterial and antipyretic effects.

Plant description

The welsh onion is native to Russia and Northwest Asia, and is now cultivated all over the world. Its primeval forms was cultivated over many centuries into today’s welsh onion, of which there are many varieties.

It prefers permeable and sunny soils. The white onions are about 1-3 cm thick and 2-5 cm long. The perennial plant grows up to 80 centimetres high. The leaves are hollow inside.

The white to pink flowers appear between June and September, when the leaf green is not harvested. The seeds develop from the bulb flowers until autumn.


Scientific name
Allium fistulosum.

Plant family

Popular name
Bunching onion, long green onion, japanese bunching onion, and spring onion.

Parts of plants used
Leaf, Stem, Flower, Bulb & Root.

Alliin, essential oils, tanning agents, insulin-like substances, minerals, sulphur compounds, mustard-like glycosides, vitamins.

Harvest period
March – November.

Medicinal properties

Main uses: Immune system & Digestion.

Healing effects

        • Antibacterial
        • Antibiotic
        • Antipyretic
        • Worming
        • Fever-relieving
        • Fungicide
        • Diuretic
        • Cancer-preventing
        • Stomach-strengthening
        • Expectorant
        • Antiseptic
        • Appetizing
        • Cholesterol-lowering

Areas of application

        • Immunity
        • Digestion
        • Bugs
        • Headache
        • Cancer
        • Stomach
        • Worms
        • Bee and wasp stings
        • Anemic
        • Breast disease
        • Intestinal colic
        • Frostbite
        • Sore throat
        • Hoarseness

Forms of preparation

In the food, the leaves can be used like chives and the white fine onions like normal onions. The flowers also as edible decoration in salads.


Crushed leaves and bulbs can be used as poultice against skin diseases, bee and wasp stings.


The juice is supposed to repel insects. The fresh juice also helps with bee and wasp stings.


From Asia it conquered the whole world, because it can be harvested early in the year as a particularly tasty and healthy vegetable. If the winter is without frost, harvesting is possible all year round.

Since the plant (especially the bulb) contains proteins, it is also called “poor man’s meat” in China. The welsh onion has also been used in some magic rituals (defence against demons and witches). In the garden, the spring onion is said to drive away moles. Today, the welsh onion is cultivated all over Europe and is available fresh in the supermarket at any time of the year.

Cultivation tips

The easiest way to propagate is by dividing the rootstock/onion spawn. Sow the seeds in pots in February. If the plant is still too small during the year, it should be wintered frost-free instead of transplanting.

The welsh onion loves a sunny location, it does not grow in the shade. The soil should be permeable to water and rich in humus. The soil should be moist but without waterlogging. If the welsh onion remains in the same soil for a longer period of time, it should be fertilised carefully. If you want to harvest in winter as well, plant the spring onion in pots and put them in a sunny, frost-free place.

Collection tips

When the tubular leaves are harvested, these grow back like chives. You can also harvest the onion with the leaves. Once harvested, the leaves of the welsh onions wilt very quickly, so eat them quickly!


Cong Zi
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