Allium schoenoprasum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Allium schoenoprasum L.

Family: Liliaceae

Vernacular names

  • Chives (En)
  • Ciboulette, civette (Fr)
  • Cambodia: kukiiw
  • Laos: hoom pèèn
  • Thailand: kuichai-farang, kuichai-baiklom (central), hom-paen (northern).


Wild throughout the northern hemisphere. Cultivated worldwide but mostly in temperate countries.


Leaves are used in salads and for flavouring. It is also used as an ornamental.


  • Perennial, very variable herb, 15-50 cm tall.
  • Leaves narrow, tubular, terete, 10-50 cm × 1-7 mm.
  • Bulbs gregarious, ovoid-oblongoid, 1-3 cm long, forming few to many lateral bulbs; in cultivated plants all bulbs inconspicuous.
  • Flowers usually purple, in terminal subspherical heads without bulbils.

It can be cultivated in the tropics at higher altitudes on a wide range of soils. Propagation is by division or by seed. In Thailand it is grown to a small extent commercially and for home consumption. World area of commercial production is about 1000 ha. Sometimes confused with Allium chinense G. Don.

Selected sources

16, 30, 73, 74, 87.