Horticulture

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Onion weed is taking over

Allium Triquetrum, commonly known as Onion Weed or Angled Onion, has been declared a noxious weed in Yarra Ranges Council Shire. A weed, in general, is a plant which is growing in the wrong place. A noxious weed, by definition, is a plant that causes environmental or economic harm or that has the potential to cause such harm. They can also present risks to human health. Onion weed is a noxious weed for most of the southern parts of Australia.

Onion weed is a perennial (reoccurring) and has thin green strappy leaves growing from a small white round bulb. When cut or crushed it gives off an onion smell. White bell-shaped flowers grow at the top of a long stalk in Spring and form seeds in the Summer months.

The weed is spread by the wind blowing the seeds into new areas, as well as the formation of small bulblets attached to the parent bulb. It thrives in damp, semi shaded conditions, which is why the Yarra Ranges is so susceptible to it. In our area, it is easily spotted in gardens, lawns, roadside, ditches and paddocks, the white flowers tells us that the bulbs are dividing and new onion weed is spreading.  It grows easily and quickly chokes the ground, impacting on the other plants. Weed identification and control are important parts of environmental management.

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.

Certificate II in Horticulture at Cire Training covers plant identification, propagation, irrigation, pruning, transplanting, as well as weeds management.