Onion Weed – Edible? Your response ?


5th October 2019

The pic below is of an onion weed growing in our backyard and from a few plants, it  has multiplied rapidly in the last couple of years.

My question is – How many of you think it is edible? And… if so? What do you do with them to make them edible? Your thoughts?  If I have to get rid of them. .How? …You can reply on my face book page or email mail@kevin-peterson.net 

There was a Chinese family who lived down the road and they kind of cultivated it for use in their cuisine as a salad or pickled. They have since left and gone back to China.

In the forums on Onion weed – ‘ Chickens have been used to claw them out of the ground and eat the bulbs.’  Galahs have also been known to seek them out and eat the bulbs.

And.. many of the results on Google, claim they are edible, lowers Cholesterol, is kind of a probiotic etc.

Below is a  photo of this ‘Weed’ I have taken from our back garden.  I have  also added excerpts from the WWW on the edibility of this  “weed”  If it is edible, why are people not harvesting them instead of using and introducing dangerous chemicals into the environment  like Round up to kill them?










Excerpts below from ‘Googling”  Onion weed. 

Source: https://aussieorganicgardening.com/2009/03/onion-weed/

Or… you can treat it as a veggie and eat it!
Onion weed is fantastic stuff, sort of like a cross between onion & garlic. It’s a great addition to all sorts of meals, and even makes fantastic fritters when dunked in batter & fried. You can even eat the flowers. And eating it is a surefire way to get rid of lots of it, unfortunately!
Since discovering how tasty this stuff is I treasure it – it’s no longer considered a weed in this house.

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.

Onion Weed


  • other names three-cornered leek
  • light green, grass like leaves and flower stalks are triangular in a cross section (photo below)
  • it is a perennial that grows from small bulbs 1cm in diameter
  • a garden escape being brought here by settlers from Europe
  • even I considered it a terrible weed because it is impossible to get rid of
  • through observation I realised it is a great ground cover in the cooler months, highly nutritious while it is there and then it dies down and disappears in the dryness of summer
  • I completely changed my view of it and now I delight when I see it come up in late autumn/winter for using the leaves and flowers and even the roots as tasty additions to salads, pestos and smoothies, scrambled eggs or chopped up finely in butter

Nutritional Qualities

  • contains sulphur (which gives it the onion flavour)
  • helps reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • acts as a digestive system tonic
  • stimulates the circulatory system
  • antimicrobial
  • contains chlorophyll, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • take advantage of this winter green that comes to help protect us from colds and flu



One positive about onion weed is that it is classed as an edible weed. All parts of the onion weed are edible- flowers, stems and bulbs. The stems and leaves have a mild spring onion or leek flavour, whilst the bulb has a mild garlic flavour. Each of these parts can be used in cooking such as stir fries, soups and salads.


Actually having just been out doing my anual onion weed eradication hunt, and being hit again with the strong onion smell, stronger than normal onions and on a pa with fresh crushed garlic, I wonder whether the common and often maligned onion weed might have a constructive use as a deterent insect spray as with garlic spray. Perhaps if they were washed then put through a juicer, or blender and sieve, the juice sprayed on insect prone plants may be a very good organic insecticide. Could it be that the gardener’s enemy turns out to be his best friend?!!

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