Nodding Onion


On dry slopes, the cluster of pinkish white flowers nods at the end of a round stem 10–50 cm tall. When crushed, the leaves and stalks small strongly of onion.

Johnston reports the nodding onion and its relatives, prairie onion and wild chives, were all used by the Blackfoot. Gathered in May and June, they were eaten raw, cooked with meat, or dried for future use. He also relates Captain Meriwether Lewis’ reaction to the prairie onion in western Montana: “ ‘I met with great quantities of a small [sic] onion about the size of a musquit [sic] ball and some even larger; they were crisp, white and well flavoured. I gathered about half a bushel of them before the crews arrived.’ ” (23)


To be added soon.


  • Johnston, Alex. 1987. Plants and the Blackfoot. Occasional Paper No. 15., Lethbridge Historical Society, AB.