all allium to eat?

Jim McKenney
Wed, 02 Nov 2005 15:32:22 PST
Tsuh yang asked "anyone grows chinese chives?"

In this part of country, Chinese chives, Allium tuberosum, is a more or less
benign  weed. It self sows prolifically. 

Years ago when I was just starting out in onions, acquiring the skills which
would eventually prompt some people to say "that Jim, he sure knows his
onions!" I had a bulb catalog which offered something they called Allium
odorum. It was described as having a tuberose-like fragrance. I bit.

Keep in mind that back in those days ethnic food meant pizza or chow mein.
The grocery stores, which now stock Allium tuberosum both as bundles of
leaves and as inflorescences for eating, would have been considered
avant-garde if they had fresh ginger or garlic. Back then few people knew
Allium tuberosum either in the garden or on the plate. 

The Allium "odorum" plants arrived from the dealer, were planted, grew well,
bloomed - but sure didn't smell like tuberoses: another big disappointment. 

For years there was mass confusion about the names of these Allium.
Eventually I realized that my Allium "odorum" was also being sold as A.

If Mark McDonough is reading this, perhaps he will tell us if there is a
tuberose-scented Allium. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Allium tuberosum is
always welcome on the table but not in the garden.  

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of piaba
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 5:43 PM
To:; Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] all allium to eat?

anyone grows chinese chives?  i believe it's an Allium
too, and you can eat the leaves as well as the
flowering heads (sometimes called chinese
fiddleheads).  it is delicious sauteed with chicken or
other veggies.

tsuh yang

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