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FutureStarrNodding Wild Onion OR''
There are many ornamental flowering onions that offer a variety of unusual shapes and forms. The nodding onion, Allium cernuum (cernuum means nodding in Latin) is an attractive small species native to North America, distributed from New York to Michigan and British Columbia and south in the mountains and cooler regions from Arizona and North Georgia (= A. recurvatum). It occurs on rocky soils in glades, bluff edges, open woods, dry meadows and prairies throughout its native range. Because of its wide distribution, it is variable in plant size, flower color and bloom time. As with other members of the genus, it has the characteristic, pungent onion aroma. It is hardy in zones 4-8.
Eaten sparingly by Northwest Coast First Nations. They were steamed in pits lined with cedar boughs and covered with lichen and alder boughs. After they were eaten, or dried in strings or on mats or pressed into cakes. EDIBLE PARTS: Leaves, bulbs and bulblets. Field garlic (A. vineale), introduced from Eurasia and northern Africa, is too strong for most tastes. Gather leaves during spring and fall. Gather bulbs in the second year when they are large enough to use like cultivated onions. Flower stem bulblets are collected during the summer. Use as domestic onions, for seasoning or raw in salads. Bulbs can be used raw, boiled, pickled or for seasoning. Their strong taste can be reduced by parboiling and discarding the water.
To freeze onions or garlic, one should coarsely chop, blanch two minutes, drain, pat dry and place them into plastic bags. The bulbs can also be dried for use as seasoning. Use flower bulbs to flavor soup or for pickling. Attracts hairstreak butterfly. The city of Chicago gets it's name from the Algonquin Indian name for this plant, "chigagou".Allium cernuum grows best in full or partial sun and a variety of moist soil conditions; if those needs are met, this plant is very hardy, even doing well in damp clay. This plant is easy to grow, and will gradually spread by seed and bulb offshoots in suitable sites. Plant in mass for a stunning display. Like all the Allium species, Nodding Onion has a pungent smell when crushed or bruised, making it deer-resistant. (Source:www.prairiemoon.com)