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The Onion Garden

The Onion Garden Chicago

The Onion Garden Chicago

Onions are both ornamental and food.

Wild onion species are important food plants all over the world, and have been used as far back as our history goes. In most vegetable markets around the globe you will find colourful and nutritious onions, and both the leaves, flowers and storage organs, i.e. the onion itself, can be eaten. With its impressive flowers in white, pink, yellow or blue, onions are what we can call an Edimental – a super combination of vegetable and ornamental plant.

The onion garden contains a number of heirloom onions that have traditionally been grown for food in Norway. These are valuable both culturally and historically as genetic resources for future food production. The collection also includes around 100 species of onion (the Allium genus) from all over the world, in addition to numerous cultivated forms.

Why Chicago? One interpretation of the name is "the stinking place" in a local Indian language. Before the city grew up, there were extensive areas with wild growing onions here. Onions contain sulphur compounds that may give off a strong smell. Many places in Norway are also named after wild chives, such as Laukvik, Laukøya and Ramslia.

Sidebar pictures Onion Garden

Butterfly on flower