THROUGH MY LENS: onion surprise

allium bloom

Although some restaurants offer a blooming onion on their menu, I’m sure they don’t have the actual blossom in mind. An onion, or allium, has a wonderful flower of it’s own if permitted to open. Even our common garden onions if let go would sprout a billowy top, typically white, a few inches in diameter.

Most of the time they are chopped off, as gardeners are want to do, to help all the energy go into the developing bulb below. And it makes sense to us, who eat them. But that’s not what the onion wants.

Instead it would like to show it’s amazing flower off to the world, to the bees, the insects that would pollinate it. But it’s rare to actually get to see one. About the size of cantaloupe in diameter, this purple variety grows in my garden untended by me, unburdened, and uneaten. I leave it alone to enjoy it’s dazzling display.

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