We have over 100,000 visitors each month, but in the whole of 2013 less than £1,000 was raised from donations. We rely on donations and cannot continue to maintain our database and website unless this increases considerably in 2014. Please make a donation today. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Allium schoenoprasum - L.                
                 
Common Name Chives, Wild chives, Flowering Onion
Family Alliaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[76].
Habitats Rocky pastures and damp meadows, preferring calcareous soils[17, 90].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, east to the Himalayas and Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       
Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring.Form: Irregular or sprawling, Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of bulb
Allium schoenoprasum is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Feb It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : 5-11


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Allium schoenoprasum Chives, Wild chives, Flowering Onion


Allium schoenoprasum Chives, Wild chives, Flowering Onion
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedgerow; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw, cooked or dried for later use. The leaves have a mild onion flavour and are an excellent addition to mixed salads, they can also be used as a flavouring in soups etc[2, 4, 5, 9, 27, 33]. The leaves are often available from late winter and can continue to produce leaves until early the following winter, especially if they are in a warm, sheltered position[K]. A good source of sulphur and iron[201]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. The bulbs are rather small, and rarely exceed 10mm in diameter[200]. They can be harvested with the leaves still attached and be used as spring onions[K]. They have a pleasant mild onion flavour. The flowers can be used as a garnish in salads etc[183]. The flowers of this species are rather dry and less desirable than the flowers of many other species[K].
Composition                                         
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 330 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 27g; Fat: 5.5g; Carbohydrate: 60g; Fibre: 10.7g; Ash: 7g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 900mg; Phosphorus: 509mg; Iron: 15mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 2874mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 40000mg; Thiamine (B1): 1.1mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.15mg; Niacin: 6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 522mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The figures given here are the median figures of a range that was quoted in the report.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Appetizer;  Digestive;  Hypotensive;  Tonic.

The whole plant has a beneficial effect on the digestive system and the blood circulation. It improves the appetite, is digestive, hypotensive and tonic[201]. It has similar properties to garlic (A. sativum), but in a much milder form, and it is rarely used medicinally[238].
Other Uses
Fungicide;  Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as an insect repellent, it also has fungicidal properties and is effective against scab, mildew etc[14, 18, 20, 201]. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles[14, 20, 200].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden. An easily grown plant[203], it prefers a sunny position in a rich moist but well-drained soil[14, 37], though it succeeds in most soils[1, 37, 200] and also in light shade[203]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[203]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. Chives are commonly cultivated in the garden for their edible leaves which are available from late winter to the beginning of the following winter[K]. The bulbs divide rapidly and large clumps are quickly formed. There are some named varieties[183, 200, 203]. Chives are very tolerant of heavy harvesting, regular cutting of the leaves ensures a continuous supply of young leaves and prevents the plants flowering[33]. Plants can be moved into a frame or other protected environment in the autumn and will then produce leaves throughout the winter[33]. Do not do this every year or it weakens the plants. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. A good bee plant[24]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. Helps to reduce the incidence of scab when it is grown under apple trees[201]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. Special Features: North American native, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy, pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle easily and plant out in the following spring. Division can be carried out at almost any time of the year but is probably best done in spring. The clumps should be divided at least every 3 or 4 years in order to maintain vigour[200], the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[5]Mabey. R. Food for Free.
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[24]Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden.
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
[27]Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden.
A reprint of a nineteenth century classic, giving details of vegetable varieties. Not really that informative though.
[33]Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table.
Unusual vegetables that can be grown outdoors in Britain. A good guide.
[37]Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant.
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
[54]Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds.
Interesting reading.
[90]Phillips. R. and Rix. M. Bulbs
Superbly illustrated, it gives brief details on cultivation and native habitat.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.
A well produced and very readable book.
[203]Davies. D. Alliums. The Ornamental Onions.
Covers about 200 species of Alliums. A very short section on their uses, good details of their cultivation needs.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Wed Sep 6 2006
i'm very interested in chives,i am a grower in northwest mexico and exporting to the u.s. so any information is wellcome.thanks a lot. sergio r. batiz
Elizabeth H.
S SANKARAN Tue Mar 11 2008
I am interested to import 100kg seed. pl submit your quote.
Elizabeth H.
Marinella Zepigi Tue Jun 10 2008

Acta plantarum forum botanico Allium schoenoprasum L. - Description - Photos

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
     
                                                                                 
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Allium schoenoprasum  
             

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site
Details