Bulb onion is a bulbous vegetables belonging to the family Alliaceae/Lilliaceae. Allium is a large and diverse genus of about 500 species. Plants in the genus have elongated leaves and very short bulb stem during the vegetative state. The main use is as cooked vegetables or cooked with other vegetables as flavours and condiments in soups and stews, fried, and significant amounts are consumed raw as salads.
Foliage of immature plants, known as green or salad or “spring” onions are also used raw in salads and cooked in many dishes.
They are hardy crops. Other Important members of this group include: onion, leek, garlic, shallot, chives.Bulb onion are grown for consumption in the green state and as mature bulbs.The origin is generally regarded to be central Asia, possibly in the Iran-West Pakistan region. Seeds are smooth, black, wrinkled when dry and relatively small. Onion seed matures in about 45 days from anthesis.
The following are some of the hybrid cultivars of bulb onions;
(a) Red Creole
It has red petiole and silver skin; stores well, and does not form thick necks unless given excess nitrogen fertilizer.
(b) White Creole
It is white in colour; its sweet taste is preferred for salads, and it has poor post-harvest storage life compared to Red Creole.
(c) Tropicana Hybrid
It is whitish, and due to its sweet taste it is also preferred for salads.
(d) Texas Grano
It produces large white bulbs with poor storage, and it is used for cooking or raw.
(e) Bombay Red
It is common, but stores poorly because of thick necks formed if supplied with excess nitrogen Fertilizers, and it has slightly bigger bulbs compared to Red Creole.
These include: Bellamy Red, Yellow Creole, Granex Yellow, Tropical Hybrid, Texas Early Grano, De Wildt (Kirchoffs), Pretoria Grano, Silver King, Pusa Red, Sivan F1, Orient F1 and Evergreen Bunching.
Their prices in Kenya ranges between Ksh 150 to 30,000 Ksh depending on the type of the variety and quantity in major towns as shown below.
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