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Allium schoenoprasum - L.

Common Name Chives, Wild chives, Flowering Onion
Family Alliaceae
USDA hardiness 5-11
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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Allium schoenoprasum Chives, Wild chives, Flowering Onion


Allium schoenoprasum Chives, Wild chives, Flowering Onion

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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 species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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.

Synonyms

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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Botanical References

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Readers comment

   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

S SANKARAN   Tue Mar 11 2008

I am interested to import 100kg seed. pl submit your quote.

Marinella Zepigi   Tue Jun 10 2008

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

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Subject : Allium schoenoprasum  
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