Sunday, April 10, 2011

Invasive/Edible: Allium schoenoprasum (Chives)

This is another horrific invasive plant that very likely escaped out of cultivation. Allium schoenoprasum is the common kitchen herb Chives. It is an onion and therefore is comprised of little bulbs. Each bulb grows one long green tube of delicious oniony goodness.

However, this is also a plant that has escaped out into the wild. If you look out into any open field, or wooded area you will see long tufts of chives popping up. They thrive in the cool spring and start growing vigorously in the spring way before the warm season grasses start growing, so this time of year they are easy to spot.

Obviously this is an edible plant. Especially on a baked potato.

Chives are something I want to grow for my herb garden. I wonder if it would be safe to simply pop some of the bulbs out of the ground of Fairmount Park and place them in my garden?


  1. Nice idea for a blog! Are garden chives really the same plant as the wild/invasive ones? The wild ones have the bluish tinge foliage, while the chives in my herb garden are definitely green with heftier foliage. Just wondering if they are different forms of the same species?

  2. Well what I know is this: wild chives are A. schoenoprasum which is the same of the culinary chives. I'd guess the culinary ones are selected for more flavor and bigger stems. Chives are also round in cross section!

    I guess I may have misidentified A. canadense which would be awesome, since that is the native Wild Onion. But until they flower I can't really tell. Wild Onions are flat leaved, not round, but as I have already pressed what I collected, I can't look. I'll go back to the patch and see!