gramandy's picture

Chinese Chives

Observed: 13th October 2012 By: gramandy
Kent Wildlife TrustThanet Coast ProjectWildwood Trust
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Chinese Chives
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Description:

New to me - have appeared in the garden. No idea what this is or where they are from. Couple of close ups of the flowers for you as requested. Also cross section from stem of the taller of the 2 plants.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

lavateraguy's picture

more notes

This is the second autumn-flowering Allium triquetrum to turn up on iSpot this autumn; but this is normally a spring-flowering species.

Allium paradoxum is similar, but usually has bulbils among the inflorescence; its var normale is more similar, but is rare in Britain.

gramandy's picture

where..

....has this come from is it a wild one?

lavateraguy's picture

garden escape

It's a plant from the western Mediterranean which is naturalised in some places in Britain.

markwilson's picture

allium

This does not look quite like Allium triquetrum - the flowers are rather numerous and not "droopy" enough. I can see from the flower stalk why you have gone for A triquetrum. However I do not know what it is!!

lavateraguy's picture

other species

Stace describes 4 species with triangular stems. Allium triquetrum is much the most widespread. The next most widespread is Allium paradoxum (few flowered garlic) and it's clearly not var. paradoxum at least.

The other two species are Allium pendulinum (Italian garlic) and Allium neapolitanum (Neapolitan garlic). Allium pendulinum seems to be essentially a smaller Allium triquetrum, with fewer leaves (2 per bulb); Allium neapolitanum has flattened triangular stems.

Stace refers to Allium paradoxum var. normale (but not by name); he says it has not been found in the wild.

lavateraguy's picture

Allium neapolitanum

Stace has a figure of this, which shows a noticable tear-shaped bract at the base of the umbel. I don't see that in the photographs.

It has keeled leaves, whilst those of Allium triquetrum are described as scarcely keeled.

gramandy's picture

I'm also....

...worried about this ID as it doesn't really look like the other entries of triquetrum? All seem to be droopy unlike the flower in the garden - not even a hint of droopiness.

lavateraguy's picture

Does it ...

... match the features described above for Allium neapolitanum or Allium pendulinum?

cicuta58's picture

Allium triquetrum

Definitely not Allium triquetrum which has quite different flowers. Possibly not an Allium at all.

cicuta58

gramandy's picture

any...

...thoughts as I am happy to leave Allium?

lavateraguy's picture

I'm thinking

Allium neapolitanum (also grown as Allium cowanii).

A close up of a flower would help confirm that it's an Allium.

markwilson's picture

allium?

I think A neopolitum has rather rounded tepals/petals and a whiter flower

lavateraguy's picture

It seems to vary

I have photographs of cultivated Allium neapolitanum (with narrow tepals) and Allium "cowanii" (with broad tepals).

Otherwise, how do you know that the flowers are not white? All I would be willing to say is that they are overexposed, and it's not possible to tell whether they are white or otherwise.

landgirl's picture

Garlic chives?

Just been to check - these look exactly like the garlic chives growing in my garden, which were sold as Allium tuberosum.

cicuta58's picture

Garlic chives

I would agree with this, so, landgirl, why not enter the ID.

cicuta58

gramandy's picture

how has it arrived....

....in my garden? anybody any ideas? - definitely not planted. Is it edible?

cicuta58's picture

Edible

Definitely edible. Apparently it tastes of garlic like chives taste of onion. Hence the name! See Wikipedia for a number of recipes.

cicuta58

markwilson's picture

flower

I even have got it in my garden but have never looked at it properly!!!

There is none so blind as those who will not see

lavateraguy's picture

stems

I've looked up Allium tuberosum in Flora of China, and that tells me that Allium tuberosum has two-angled stems. That could plausibly be misinterpreted as triquetrous from a photograph, but to settle the question, could we have a statement of what the stem cross-section is, please.

markwilson's picture

flower

I have just lookde at the plants in my garden - there appear to be a pair of ridges opposite each other (presumably the two-angled stems. But there is also a slightly weaker ridge between them which makes the stem feel "triquetrous".

I will post a very heath robinson section of the stem asap