• Yorktown Onion Fence II


    I found this beautiful cluster of Yorktown Onions leaning on a white picket fence along Main Street in historic Yorktown, Virginia.

    I appreciate the way the purple flowers pop out against the black and white background.

    The Yorktown Onion is not a native to this country, but came from the Old World. The scientific name is Allium ampeloprasum. Allium is Latin for garlic, while ampeloprasum means “leek of the vineyard.”

    Though the plant is always referred to as the Yorktown Onion here, there are several other common names. In print it has been called wild onion, giant wild onion, and wild leek.The Yorktown Onion is aptly named since in this country it is native only to York County, Virginia. Found originally in South Russia, it was introduced into England in the sixteenth century. From there, it came to this country either as seeds carried by the early colonists or in supplies sent over from the mother country. Legend has it that the seeds came here during the Revolutionary War mixed with crop seeds or fodder.

    Regardless of how it got here, it became firmly established as a wild plant in what is now York County. The long stemmed onions with large wine colored heads are plentiful along the Colonial Parkway, appearing at their best in June and July.

    It is forbidden by the National Park Service to collect or remove any portion of the plant.

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