A tasty bushfood used by Wurundjeri People, this tuberous vegetable plant has edible tubers and seeds which can be roasted before eating.
The Bush Onion goes by Native Leek, Wild Onion and Bulbine Lily, and while the seeds can be used similar to fennel seeds, the leaves are NOT to be eaten. The tubers are sweet-ish with a mild-onion flavour, and take a few years before they are ready to be harvested.
Found across the wetter areas of South-East Australia, the bright yellow flowers make a great addition to gardens and can be used in pots. When not watered well, the leaves die, but when enough rain arrives, the tuber shoots up new growth.
Description - A dense grassy tuberous plant that produces shoots of long leaves and flowers
Foliage - Succulent, greyish green, narrowly lanceolate leaves
Flowers - Fragrant, star-shaped yellow flowers are borne on long vertical flowering stalks with the oldest flowers at the base. Each flower has six tepals with tufted, hairy, yellow sepals.
Cultivation - Native across most of the wetter regions of South-East Australia, it can be grown in wet, well-draining soil. In times of stress, the shoots die down and return when conditions improve. They are a perennial species that do best in nutrient rich soil with low phosphorus. Fertilize in spring with native, low-phosphorus fertilizer.
Uses - The tubers can be dug-up and roasted similar to a traditional onion. Harvest the tubers after a few years and keep a few for replanting. The seeds can be used as fennel seeds. The leaves are NOT edible.
Prefers moist conditions
Full Sun / Part Shade
0.5m (h) x 0.5m (w)
Planting Bush Onion
Growing 0.5m in height and 0.5m in width, Bush Onion prefers moist conditions. It will thrive both under full glare of the sun or in a semi-shaded position. Native across most of the wetter regions of South-East Australia, it can be grown in wet, well-draining soil. In times of stress, the shoots die down and return when conditions improve, a true survivor, this one! They are a perennial species that do best in nutrient rich soil with low phosphorus. Fertilize in spring with native.
Harvest the stalks by hand or with secateurs when the papery capsules turn brown and brittle, theseeds are dark-brown and the stems have changed from orange brown to light brown. Place thestems upside-down inside large paper bags and dry until the capsules have opened. Thresh lightlyto extract the seeds from the capsules and sieve clean.When stored in appropriate conditions, seeds retain viability for several years.
Light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It grow best in full sun but can also thrive in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
To encourage growth, theplants can be fertilized withslow-release fertilizer andseaweed fertilizer in spring.Seaweed fertilizer can also becombined with a water-solublefertilizer and applied duringestablishment.
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