Is Onion A Fruit Or Vegetable? Classification Of Onion

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Cristina

So, how do we classify onion? Is onion a fruit or vegetable? If you are concerned about knowing the proper way to classify onions, then we’ve got you covered here.

A lot of us make use of onions in our various cooking recipes to enhance the flavor of our foods. Onion can either be cooked or eaten raw and they offer lots of nutritional benefits.

Surprisingly, with the way onions make a regular appearance in our daily food recipes and diet; most people are still confused about the classification of onions. Is onion a fruit or vegetable is what we would like to know.

Now, let’s dive in and find out the answer to your questions about if onion can be classified as a fruit or a vegetable.

A Better Understanding Of Fruit And Vegetable

To answer this question accurately, we need to first have a clear understanding of what fruit and vegetable are.

When we want to classify something as either a fruit or vegetable, we usually look at its features or appearances. Once the features fit a fruit, then we regard it as a fruit, and the same goes for vegetables. Both vegetables and fruits are edible and they come from different parts of a plant.

  • Fruit is formed from the ovary of a flowering plant and inside the fruit, you can find seeds. It is from these seeds that the plant is usually able to reproduce. Hence, a fruit is a ripened ovary of a flowering plant that has seeds enclosed inside them. However, some plants still have other ways of reproducing apart from using seeds.
  • Vegetable, on the other hand, is an edible part of a plant and this part can be the root, stem, leaves, bulb, and flowers.

Now that we have some understanding of what fruit and vegetable are, let’s classify onion and see if it is a vegetable or fruit.

Is Onion A Fruit Or Vegetable?

From the characteristics explained above, it is logical to classify onion as a vegetable. Also, the fact that onions lack seeds inside them can further tell us that they can’t be regarded as fruit but can be classified as a vegetable. The seed in the onion plant can be found in the flowers of the plant which is found above the ground.

Also, onion falls under the category of a bulb which is known as a vegetable.

But Why Is Onion Sometimes Referred To As A Fruit?

People may often confuse onions to be fruit rather than a vegetable. Remember we mentioned earlier that fruit has the ability to reproduce. This is why onions are usually mistaken to be a fruit because onions have the ability to reproduce just like a fruit can.

Onion’s ability to reproduce from their bulb in the absence of seeds makes it more confusing. However, we can’t overlook the fact that onions do not contain any seeds inside them. The seed found inside the fruit is the most ideal way of characterizing them as a fruit.

8 Onion Seeds Variety Pack Heirloom, Non-GMO, Onion Seeds 1600+ Seeds

Is Onion A Fruit Or Vegetable

Where Can The Seeds Of Onions Be Found? Is Onion A Fruit Or Vegetable?

Since we have established that the seeds of onions are not found inside the onion bulb, where can their seeds be found?

The seeds of onions develop from the flowers of the onion plants that grow above the ground. The blooms of onions happen only once every two years, meaning they are biennial plants. For this reason, it usually makes it hard for onion seeds to be collected for planting. But it is still possible to grow onions from their seeds. Then you can as well grow onions from their bulbs.

The seeds produced by the flower of the onion plant arise from the successful fertilization that occurred in the flower of the onion plant. But onions do not grow or develop from flowers. Onion plants are characterized by their shortened underground stem and they are surrounded by fleshy scale leaves. They lack seeds and this seed is a requirement that can classify onion to be a fruit.

Now, most vegetables usually reproduce through seeds, however, not all vegetables make use of seeds to reproduce and this is because some of these vegetables can reproduce asexually. So, onions are one of these vegetables that have the ability to reproduce asexually. These plants make use of 3 main methods to reproduce asexually and they are tubers, runners, and bulbs.

Therefore, bulbs vegetables such as onions are capable of storing food to feed the growth of new plants. Hence, this allows onions have the ability to reproduce without depending on seeds.

Where Can The Seeds Of Onions Be Found

Can Onions Be Regarded As Root Vegetables?

So, we know onions grow underground, so can they be called root because of this reason? The names or classifications given to a particular plant can vary when we distinguish them under scientific or botanical names. Also, the names or classifications given to a particular plant can as well vary when we distinguish them in culinary and agricultural settings.

Examples of true root vegetables distinguished by botanists are taproots and tuberous roots. Then non-rots distinguished by botanists include bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, and corms. But as a chef or gardener, it seems fine to refer to onions as a root vegetable.

Read more about Is Potato A Root Vegetable Or Not?

Conclusion – Is Onion A Fruit Or Vegetable?

So, in conclusion, we have explained that onion is indeed a type of vegetable and not a fruit. One obvious reason why we classified onion as a vegetable and not a fruit is major because onion lacks seeds inside them. And the presence of seed is a major feature that fruit poses. This onion vegetable falls under the category of the bulb.

So, from the explanations above, we hope we have been able to accurately enlighten you about the question: Is onion a fruit or vegetable?


Is onion a fruit?

No. Onion cannot be classified as a fruit mainly because they do not have seeds enclosed inside them. The presence of is mostly the best means to classify anything as a fruit.

Is onion a vegetable?

Yes. Onion is a type of vegetable and this is because onion fits the characteristic of a vegetable. A vegetable is any part of a plant that is edible and these edible parts can be in form of a root, stem, leaves, flowers, or bulbs. So, onion falls under the category of the bulb.

Why onion is not a fruit?

Onion is not a fruit simply because it does not have the features most fruits have. For instance, one major classification of a fruit is the presence of seeds inside them, and onions lack seeds inside them.

Is onion a herb or vegetable?

Onion can be regarded as a vegetable. It can as well be referred to as a herb because a herb is any plant with leaves, flowers, or seeds that is used for medicine, food, flavoring, and perfumes. Therefore onion can be referred to as both vegetable and herb.

Sharing is caring!