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Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum - (L.)Hartm.                
                 
Common Name Giant Chives
Family Alliaceae
Synonyms A. sibiricum. L.
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 Calcareous or basic rock, gravels and shores, Alaska and southwards[43].
Range N. America to E. Asia - Siberia, Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of bulb
Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8


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. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum Giant Chives


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Allium_schoenoprasum_sibiricum_drawing.png
Allium schoenoprasum sibiricum Giant Chives
   
Habitats       
 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[90, 105]. This form has a stronger garlic flavour than common chives[183] The leaves are often available from late winter and can continue to produce leaves until early the following winter, especially if the plant is in a warm, sheltered position[K]. A good source of sulphur and iron[201]. The bulbs are rather small but can be used as spring onions[K]. 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].
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]. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles[14, 20].
Cultivation details                                         
An easily grown plant[203], it prefers a sunny position in a rich moist but well-drained soil[14, 37]. Succeeds in most soils[1, 37] and in light shade[203]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[203]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. This is a more robust form of A. schoenoprasum, the chive. It is often grown in the garden for its edible leaves which are available from late winter to the beginning of the next winter[K]. The bulbs divide rapidly and large clumps are quickly formed. There are some named varieties[183]. Regular cutting of the leaves ensures a continuous supply of young leaves and prevents 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].
                                                                                 
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.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(L.)Hartm.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
43200
                                                                                 
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]).
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[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.
[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.
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[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.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[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.
[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.
Desiree Thu Feb 5 16:04:35 2004
it needs to be more organized
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