Herb: Garlic Chives

Latin name: Allium tuberosum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Medicinal use of Garlic Chives:

The whole plant is antibacterial, cardiac, depurative, digestive, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. It is an anti-emetic herb that improves kidney function. It is used internally to treat urinary incontinence, kidney and bladder weaknesses etc. The seed is carminative and stomachic. They are used in India in the treatment of spermatorrhoea. The leaves and the bulbs are applied to bites, cuts and wounds.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in a truly wild situation.

Edible parts of Garlic Chives:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A mild flavour, somewhat like a cross between garlic and chives, they are delicious in salads. The flavour is destroyed by lengthy cooking. The leaves are available from early spring until late in the autumn. They contain about 2.6% protein, 0.6% fat, 2.4% carbohydrate, 0.95% ash. They also contain small amounts of vitamins A, B1 and C. The rather small bulbs are about 10mm in diameter and are produced in clusters on a short rhizome. Flowers and flower buds - raw or cooked. A delicious flavouring and pretty garnish for the autumn salad bowl. Root - raw or cooked. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Other uses of the herb:

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Propagation of Garlic Chives:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. The seed has a fairly short viability and should not be used when more than 1 year old. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Plant out in late summer if the plants have developed sufficiently, otherwise plant them out the following spring. Division in early spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at almost any time of the year. The divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in a truly wild situation.

Known hazards of Allium tuberosum:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.