In season now: onion weed


You have it in your yard, no doubt about it.
If you live on the East Coast of Australia you would have noticed the white flowers popping up everywhere, unexpected, un-invited, in places you would not have thought there was nothing else but lawns..
Yep, onion weed lies dormant for months on end, and when the right time comes (rain, and warmer temperature of late spring) it shoots up fast, it flowers and seeds and before you know it is gone.

Several gardeners and land managers have a real dislike for this pioneer species, mostly because it stands so tall (about 30-40cm tall) and proud, it defies humans in creating the perfect lawns. Regardless of what you think of it, this is a hard one to control. Hand weeding is difficult, as when you pull the stalks they would break free from the underground bulb facilitating the splitting of it and the formation of several smaller bulibis. Yep, you pull it, it multiplies!
Gardening forums are filled with frustrated gardeners trying to overcome this pesky plant, and advise is generally quite harsh, let me quote a few:
"I have tried to pull it out, dig it out, remove the top 8 inches of soil and replace, then we cut it all at ground level, covered it with overlapping newspaper( 1 whole paper opened up flat) and mulched, this stopped it for a few weeks, maybe 6-8 but now it is back.......anyone have any ideas on how to get rid of it?"
"I use full strength zero will kill main bulb but not side bulbs so you have to keep at them with full strength, good luck."

"Where we are able we belt them with metasulfuron methly (Brush off / Esteem) combined with Pulse penetrant. But even with this one treatment is rarely enough."

About learning to live with it and enjoy it as a vegetable? Yes, Nothoscordum inodorum AKA Allium neapolitanum is edible, and actually a good treat too. Try the flowers, as they come out, fresh, sweet and onion-y. Think of the possibilities.

Edible Uses: The leaves are delicious in salads, they start off being sweet and then develop a fairly strong, persistent and lingering onion-like flavour. The bulb is rather small but a very nice mild garlic flavour. The flowers are excellent in salads, making them look attractive as well as adding a strong onion flavour.

Medicinal Uses: 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.

Reference
Wikipedia>
Plant For a Future>

Oh, also, check and support Wild Food Map, it might give you a hint where your next special treat is>>

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