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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
GARLIC CHIVES, CHINESE CHIVES
Pronounced: A-lee-um tew-be--RO-sum
Sunset zones: 1-24; H1, H2.
USDA zones: 4-8.
Heat zones: 8-1.
Height: 10-20 inches (25-50 cm).
Late summer to fall.
Umbels of many star-shaped, fragrant, white flowers.
Flat not round, grass-like leaves.
Well-drained, moist soil.
Sow seed when ripe, or in spring; place at temperatures of 24-39°F (-4-4°C) for six weeks and then 68°F (20°C) until seeds germinate.
Rainy Side Notes
Allium is the Greek name for garlic and tuberosum refers to the rhizome, which is tuberous.
It is a shame that this plant isn't grown more as an ornamental in the perennial garden. Its elegant white flowers grace the late summer garden when other plants are saying goodbye for the year. The flowers can be dried for winter arrangements and the leaves harvested for culinary purposes.
Culinary uses include chopped leaves and flower buds added to salads, cheeses, and stir-fries, but also used as a garnish. Too much cooking destroys the mild onion-garlic flavor; add to soups and stews towards the end of cooking.
Medicinally, Allium tuberosum is used for urinary incontinence, kidney and bladder weakness and stomach chills. Also, it is used as a poultice for knee injuries.
Dead head spent flowers to prevent spreading of seed.
Photographed in author's garden.