Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng.

Garlic Chive


CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 3

© SRTurner

Family - Liliaceae

Habit - Perennial forb from a bulb, strongly colonial, strongly aromatic when bruised.

Stem - Aerial stems erect, to 60 cm, scapose, solid, terete, arising from bulb. Bulb brown, fibrous.

Allium_tuberosum_bulb.jpg Bulb.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Alternate, crowded near base of stem, strap-shaped, flattened, solid, entire, glabrous.

Allium_tuberosum_leaves.jpg Stem and leaf bases.

© SRTurner

Allium_tuberosum_leaves2.jpg Leaves.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Umbels with 20-50 flowers, hemispheric to flat-topped.

Allium_tuberosum_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Actinomorphic, to 1 cm diameter, on stalks 1-3 cm. Perianth consisting of 3 petals and 3 sepals, these morphologically similar, spreading, white. Stamens 6, included. Ovary superior, 3-lobed, 3-locular, usually with 2 ovules per locule. Style linear, with unlobed capitate stigma.

Allium_tuberosum_flowers2.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Allium_tuberosum_calyx.jpg Perianth, ventral view.

© SRTurner

Fruits - 3-Locular capsules. Seeds shiny, irregular in shape, black.

Allium_tuberosum_fruits.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - August - September.

Habitat - Disturbed areas, sun to partial shade.

Origin - Native to China.

Lookalikes - None close.

Other info. - This species is uncommon, only sporadically escaping cultivation. Large patches can be quite showy. In Missouri it is not truly naturalized, as populations do not seem to persist. The plant is edible, with a flavor similar to garlic, and it is frequently used in Asian cuisines.

The familial classification of the genus Allium is controversial, with some authors segregating it into Amaryllidaceae or Alliaceae.

Photographs taken at Young Conservation Area, Jefferson County, MO, 8-30-2016; also along Katy Trail west of Augusta, St. Charles County, MO, 9-20-2017 (SRTurner).