Allium schoenoprasum


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Key information

Plant type


Flower colour



Flowers, Aromatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


photo by Lynne Brotchie, copyright GAP Photos (39735)

Plant details

Chives are popular perennial bulbs that spread to form neat tufted clumps, ideal for edging beds and paths, and particularly attractive when in flower. Regularly harvesting the tops of the pleasantly onion-flavoured leaves, used to flavour all kinds of dishes, also helps to stimulate further new young growth, which has the best flavour. The attractive flowers, mauve in rounded heads, are edible, make a pretty garnish, and are a favourite of bees and other pollinating insects. Chives are easily raised from seed, or a bought potful may be divided for growing on to produce several strong clumps.

Family: Alliaceae

Genus: Allium

Species: schoenoprasum

Plant type: Herb

Flower colour: Mauve

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Aromatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Moist, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 45cm

Spread: 15cm

Time to plant seeds: April to May

Flowering period: July to August

Reader reviews


i have a large allotment which has a real problem with mares tail, do you have any suggestions on how to clear this weed??


After watching Wednesday's Edible Garden I decided I wanted to add chives to my garden as they are edible & pretty! I have today been out and brought a couple of pots for planting tomorrow!
Thanks Alys.


Always enjoy growing these because as well as looking good they work well as a companion plant with courgettes and attract bees to the garden.
Review by Julie C

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