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Chive, Chinese

Garlic, oriental; Kai ts'ai; Nira

Amaryllidaceae Allium tuberosum Rottler

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This onion relative is an important crop in the Orient, and is grown to some extent by Oriental gardeners in the U.S. Bulbs, if any, are poorly developed but rhizomes are thick and conspicuous. The plant spreads from these rhizomes to form dense clumps. The edible portion is the long grass-like leaves, which bend down at the tips, and the young, tender inflorescences. Leaves are sometimes blanched by excluding light. The flavor is strong and garlic like. In established beds, leaves may be cut repeatedly.


Season, from seed to first cutting: 4 to 5 months.

Production in U.S.: No data. Very limited.

Use: Mainly as flavoring.

Part of plant consumed: Leaves and young inflorescences.


Last update February 18, 1999 by ch