It is a hardy bulbous perennial, which has not been certainly found wild and is regarded by Alphonse de Candolle as probably a modification of A. cepa, dating from about the beginning of the Christian Era.
There are two varieties of shallot -- the common shallot, and the Jersey (or Russian) shallot, the latter being much larger and less pungent than the former.
It is extensively cultivated and is much used in cookery, in addition to being excellent when pickled.
It is propagated by offsets, which are often planted in September or October, but the principal crop should not be got in earlier than February or the beginning of March. In planting, the tops of the bulbs should be kept a little above ground, and it is a commendable plan to draw away the soil surrounding the bulbs when they have got root-hold. They should not be planted on ground recently manured. They come to maturity about July or August.
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please update as needed.