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Allium cepa 

Onion

Bawang bombay

Alliaceae

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Allium cepa, Onion, Bawang bombay

Allium is the onion genus, with about 1250 species, making it one of the largest plant genera in the world. They are perennial bulbous plants that produce chemical compounds that give them a characteristic onion or garlic taste and odor, and many are used as food plants. Allium is classified in family Alliaceae although some classifications have included it in the lily family (Liliaceae).

The flowers form an umbel at the top of a leafless stalk. The bulbs vary in size between species, from very small (around 23 mm in diameter) to rather big (810 cm). Some species Onion in the general sense can be used for any plant in the genus Allium but used without qualifiers usually means Allium cepa, also called the garden onion. Onions (usually but not exclusively the bulbs) are edible with a distinctive strong flavour and pungent odour which is mellowed and sweetened by cooking. They generally have a papery outer skin over a fleshy, layered inner core. Used worldwide for culinary purposes, they come in a wide variety of forms and colours.
Onions may be grown from seed or very commonly from "sets". Onion sets are produced by sowing seed very thickly one year, resulting in stunted plants which produce very small bulbs. These bulbs are very easy to set out and grow into mature bulbs the following year, but they have the reputation of producing a less durable bulb than onions grown directly from seed and thinned.

 

  

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