Back to the Collection

The Life History of the Onion

About the film

Part of the Junior Biology Series, this study of the onion is aided by diagrammatic, time-lapse, and microscopic footage.


Release year
Mary Field
Production company
G.B. Instructional Limited
F. Percy Smith
Running time (minutes)
10 mins 28 secs
Supervised by
B. Barnes

Original Description

‘The film shows speeded-up germination of the seed to form roots and shoot, at whose base the leaves later form a bulb. The flower produces pollen grains (shown much magnified), which are transferred by insects to the stigmas for fertilization of seeds inside the ovary.’
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1942-1943


  • This is the last film in the Junior Biology series. It is unclear why the term ‘life cycle’, used in the other Junior Biology films, was changed to ‘life history’ in this case. In the original Films of Britain distribution booklets it is nonetheless referred to as 'The Life Cycle of The Onion’.
  • Another Junior Biology series film about trout was put into production, but it was not completed due to the war.

Related series