Spring greens: wild onion tangle.


You know your lawn is full of wild onions.

Go pull some.

(Make sure they’re wild onions, not something else that grows from a bulb. Hint: wild onions smell strongly of onion.)

Clean them up. (Tedious, but worth it.)

You also might want to shorten them. They do tend to tangle up.

Saute them with butter and salt.

So tasty.

(We had ours with spiced barley and goat chops.)


  1. Rosalee de la Foret said,

    March 21, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    I love wild onions! They are so worth the work. Hopefully ours will be poking up soon.

  2. AnneTanne said,

    March 22, 2008 @ 9:01 am

    Which Alliums are called ‘wild onions’ in the States?
    I have in my garden some ‘‘, ‘kraailook’ (litteraly Crow’s garlic), which is sometimes called wilde ajuin (Wild onions) or velduien (field onions) in Dutch. I wonder if this could be the same thing. (I know this allium is found in America, too)

  3. AnneTanne said,

    March 22, 2008 @ 9:03 am

    I wanted to tell I had some ‘kraailook, Alium vineale’, but I used some tags to point to an article on my blog with some pictures, so the words disappeared.L
    The article can be found here: http://www.annetanne.be/kruidenklets/2008/01/09/allium-vineale-kraailook

  4. Hank said,

    March 27, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    Sigh. Sadly, wild onions do not grow in my yard. I live in Northern California, where lots of things grow. The svelte green onions are not among them. They were the first wild things I ate growing up in Jersey, much to the embarassment of my mum, who was forced to smell my breath!

    If you ever get your hands on some blue crab meat, these onions marry with them perfectly. Add good olive oil and toasted pine nuts, and you have a lovely dish!

  5. valereee said,

    March 29, 2008 @ 11:06 am

    Herbwife, I took my cue from you and went out in my backyard and discovered…Wild Garlic! Allium Vineale. I found an old African-American recipe for using it — posted it on my blog. I’ve been thinking a lot about foraging lately, so I’m happy to see your foraging posts!

  6. tess said,

    March 30, 2008 @ 3:34 pm

    is crows poision and wild onions look the same?

  7. Jan S. said,

    March 30, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

    Alas . . . I am no closer to pulling wild onions from my yard than I was finding peppercress several weeks ago. Four more inches of fresh now a few days ago. Still over 3 feet of hard frozen snow and 6 ft. snowbanks. The cross country skiing was good this weekend however. Perhaps I will be doing my Spring foraging in . . . May?

    I have been in Vermont since 1974 and and have never seen snow like this before. . . . You picked a good year to move to WV Rebecca!

    Happy foraging all.


  8. crabappleherbs said,

    April 3, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

    Rosalee — I hope your wild onions are up soon, too!

    AnneTanne — Allium vineale and A. canadense are both called wild onions around here, though it looks like some books identify A. vineale as “wild garlic.” The ones I cooked the other day were A. vineale. So, yes, your kraailook and my wild onions are one and the same!

    Hank — Thanks for the tip about the crab!

    Valeree — Great post! And I’ll definitely have to participate in the local food blog carnival!

    Tess — Yes, there are a number of plants that look like wild onions but aren’t edible. The best way to tell the difference is to crush a leaf and smell it — wild garlic/onions will smell like garlic/onions. If a plant that looks like wild garlic or wild onion doesn’t smell strongly of garlic/onion, then don’t eat it.

    Jan — Yes, it does seem like a record winter for VT these days. I hear there was some rain in the last few days, though… maybe that will help the melting get started?

  9. Finspot said,

    April 8, 2008 @ 1:03 am

    Just found yr blog and am loving it! We’ve got the nodding onion out here in the PNW, but alas, no ramps. It’s the time of year when I read all about ramps and wish I was still on the East Coast. Are you finding morels yet?

  10. crabappleherbs said,

    April 9, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

    No morels yet — you have to wait until the oak leaves are the size of squirrels’ ears (or so they say) and we don’t have many leaves on anything but willows yet.

    But ramps, yes. We have ramps.

  11. WildShroom said,

    April 1, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    I have never run across wild onions, but I would like to! I have had some luck finding mushrooms and strawberries though. I would almost think onions would be more common and easier to find than either strawberries or mushrooms. What do you think?

  12. winnie buckner said,

    May 15, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    I live in northern kentucky and have seen these plants that remind me of an onion plant. people have told me they are wild onions and they smell like onions, they are all over my property, I am wondering are they wild onions or wild garlic since some say they look alike and smell alike. I have never seen them bloom flowers, but they do get this little bulb on top when opened they look like little onion seeds. Can you tell me if they are onions or not and are they safe to eat?

  13. Jessie said,

    May 8, 2017 @ 2:25 pm

    Nestled back in the hills or “hollers” of my neighborhood are a lot of wild plots chock full of trees, rocks, streams,.

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