Green onion is a member of the onion (Amaryllidaceae) family.

Green Onion

also known as Scallion

What is Green Onion?

Green onion is a member of the onion (Amaryllidaceae) family. They are green in color with a whitish bottom.

  • This vegetable has a taste similar to onions but much milder and hints of a grassy, earthy flavor.
  • They are similar to spring onions, but distinct in that spring onions are more bulbous at the bottom.

The word scallion is derived from ancient Greek askolonion. Green onions are mostly used as a garnish for salads, salsas, noodles, seafood, stir-fries, and soups like ramen.

Some common ways to use green onions in the kitchen include:

  • Soups
  • Stir-fries
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Pancakes
  • Bread
  • Sauces
  • Salsa

Origin of green onions

This vegetable was regularly foraged by prehistoric humans as food. Some of the wild species still grow. Research suggests that green onions have been cultivated for over two thousand years. The first record of scallions being used as food comes from Mesopotamia. Additionally, Ancient Egyptians grew and used scallions as food and currency. Today, this vegetable is widely used throughout the world.


A 100 gram serving of green onions has only around 32 calories. The nutritional profile for green onions is:

In addition, green onions contain essential micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, carotene, and lutein. Regular consumption of scallions may help in minimizing the risk of cancers

Commercial production

China is the largest producer of scallions, followed by India, USA, Turkey, and Pakistan. Green onions require well-drained soil and grow well in sandy loam soils. This vegetable flourishes in warm weather.

Green onions may be kept fresh by cleaning the bulbs and wrapping them up in a damp paper towel. They must be refrigerated. This way, they will last for up to 3 or 4 days. To store green onions longer, put them in a glass jar half filled with water and the top covered with a plastic bag.

Green onion recipes

Scallions are commonly consumed raw as a garnish in most dishes. Also, they can be cooked or baked in different dishes. They are a mainstay of East and South-East Asian cuisines. Here are a few recipes to try:

FDA regulations

The FDA classifies green onion as a raw agricultural commodity (RAC). It falls under the most frequently consumed raw vegetables category.


Allium cepa or A. fistulosum, The Hmong American Farmers Association,

George E. Boyhan, Darbie M. Granberry, W. Terry Kelley; Green Onions: Commercial Vegetable Production; University of Georgia, Ft. Valley State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 

Arulselvan, Palanisamy et al. “Dietary administration of scallion extract effectively inhibits colorectal tumor growth: cellular and molecular mechanisms in mice.” PloS one vol. 7,9 (2012): e44658. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044658,