Allium fistulosum L.

[Japanese bunching onion; Welsh onion; negi]


To Japanese version

No wild forms are known in Allium fistulosum, which was differentiated into major cultivar groups already in ancient China. Its closest wild relative, A. altaicum, is distributed from Mongolia to southern Siberia and in a small part of nor th-western China. These facts are thought to indicate that Japanese bunching on ion has its origin in north-western or western regions of China. It is quite pr obable that A. altaicum took part in the domestication of A. fistulosum and has contributed as a primary gene pool to diversification of the vegetable crop.

Although A. fistulosum is by nature a perennial species and can be propagated ve getatively, it is usually propagated through seed and grown as an annual or bien nial crop. Japanese bunching onion is one of most popular vegetables in tempera te Asia and can be grown in subarctic and subtropical regions, since it has some highly cold-tolerant cultivars and other highly heat-tolerant ones. Its growth is vigorous in spring and autumn and retards in summer and winter. Inflorescen ce primordia are formed under low-temperature, short-day conditions from autumn to winter and develop to flower under high-temperature, long-day conditions in s pring.

Japanese bunching onion have a mild flavor, which is not too strong as of garlic or Chinese chive. Its raw chopped leaves, esp. soft green leaves, are good as a seasoning for light-taste Japanese foods such as 'soba', 'udon', 'suimono'. C ooking destroys its pungency and, as a result, enhance its sweet flavor. Its et iolated pseudo-stem is good for various kinds of cuisine such as 'sukiyaki', 'na be', and shish-kabob, removing bad smells of meet and fish and giving an appetit e-stimulating flavor.