Allium schoenoprasum 'Snowcap'

Common Name: chives 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Forms dense clumps which are easily divided in spring or fall. Easily grown from seed and will self-seed in the garden if spent flower heads are not promptly dead-headed. Leaves are best harvested by clipping them off at the base so as to maintain the attractiveness of the clumps.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Allium schoenoprasum, commonly called chives, is a small bulbous perennial which iscommonly used as a culinary herb to impart mild onion flavor to many foods, including salads, soups, vegetables and sauces. Plants also have good ornamental value. Features thin, tubular, grass-like, dark green leaves which typically grow in dense clumps to 12". Attractive, globular, clover-like clusters of pale purple flowers subtended by papery bracts appear in spring and summer on scapes (stems) often rising above the foliage to 18" tall. Flower heads can be used as a garnish for soups and salads.

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for garlic.

Specific epithet comes from the Greek words schoinos meaning rush and prason meaning leek in reference to the rush-like leaves.

‘Snowcap’ is a semi-dwarf cultivar growing from 1 to 1.5 ft. in height and spread. It has white, 1 in. wide, spherical flower heads.


No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in wet, poorly-drained soils.


Group, mass or use as an edger in herb gardens and vegetable gardens. Also effective as an ornamental (leaves may still be harvested) in rock gardens or border fronts. Also may be grown in pots, or divisions may be potted up in fall, for overwintering and continued harvest on a cool kitchen window sill.