Allium tuberosum

Whole Plant in Flower
Common Name: garlic chives 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Asia
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Spreads somewhat aggressively by self-seeding and tuberous rootstocks. Deadhead flowers before seed set to control unwanted spread.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Allium tuberosum, commonly called garlic chives, is a clump-forming onion family member which may be grown for both culinary and ornamental purposes. Features chive-like, gray-green leaves up to 12" long which may be used in cooking in the same manner as chives (Allium schoenoprasum). Tiny, star-shaped, white flowers with brown striped tepals appear in loose clusters (umbels to 2" wide) atop leafless 9-18" stems in late summer into fall. Plants will colonize, and a small planting can expand rather quickly. All parts of the plant have an oniony smell when cut or crushed, however the flower scent is more suggestive of violets. Also commonly called Chinese chives because the plant is grown extensively in China for culinary purposes.

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for garlic.

Specific epithet means tuberous.


No serious pest or disease problems. Can become a weed.


Herb gardens, vegetable gardens, cottage gardens or naturalized areas. Attractive flowers have good ornamental value and are pleasant additions to rock gardens or border fronts, however flowers must be deadheaded before setting seed or seedlings will sprout up throughout the garden.