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Allium cepa L.

Allium angolense Baker
Allium aobanum Araki
Cepa alba P.Renault
Cepa esculenta Gray

Duration: Perennial
Family: Liliaceae - Lily family
Group: Monocot
Growth Habit: Herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Piyaj (Bengali).

Tribal Name: Prunsen (Bawm), Piaiynz (Chakma), Mezyn-kamseng (Khumi), Krasyan (Marma).

English Name: Onion.

Description of the Plant:

An annual herb. Stem underground and modified in to small disc, generally known as bulb. Leaves radical long cylindrical, Flowers arranged in a terminal umbel inflorescence borne on a long leafless scape. Fruit a membernous, loculocidal capsule.

Chemical Constituents:

Principal constituent of onion is an essential oil containing various sulphur compounds such as mono-, di-, tri-, and tetra-sulphides, thiols and thiophene derivatives. Onion also contains carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, polyphenols, quercetin, kaempferol, vitamin B and C, a saponin, ß-amyrin, sterols, phenolic acids and minerals. Besides these a large number of cyaniding glycosides have been isolated from the bulb. Prostaglandins have been detected in the bulb and leaves of onion. Dry brown outer scale contains quercetin, and other flavanoid, sterols and phenolic compounds. Scales also contain catechol and protocatechuic acid (Ghani, 2003). Diosgenin has been isolated from flowers and bulb (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Mode of Uses:

  • Bulb is used as additives. Leaves with peduncles used as leafy vegetables and as flavoring agent in curry (Khumi).

  • Paste prepared from bulb is applied to boils to remove flies. It is also used as antiseptic (Bawm).

  • The leaves with the peduncles used as leafy vegetables, flavoring agent in curry and as salad ingredients. (Chakma, Marma, Bawm).


Cultivated in most of the districts of Bangladesh.

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