Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Common name:

Chinese leek

Scientific name:

Allium tuberosum.

Life form:

Crop, Forb.

Flowering time:

no data.

Flowering period

in Arkansas for this plant is: Late AugustEarly September.


General distribution:

Allium tuberosum (Garlic chives, Oriental garlic, Asian chives, Chinese chives, Chinese leek) is a species of onion native to southwestern parts of the Chinese province of Shanxi and cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in Asia and around the world. A popular vegetable in eastern Asia, where the plant is often cultivated for its edible leaves, bulb, and flowering stems.

It has been reported as growing wild in scattered locations in the United States (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, and Wisconsin). However, it is believed to be more widespread in North America because of the availability of seeds and seedlings of this species as an exotic herb and because of its high aggressiveness. This species is also widespread across much of mainland Europe and invasive in other areas of the world.

Garlic Chives is often grown in gardens because of its attractive flowers and the culinary properties of the leaves. 

Map of distribution and habitat in USA

This plant is present in at least 8 states/provinces in this country.

See The Map

Botanical description:

Allium tuberosum is a rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial plant growing from a small, elongated bulb (about 10 mm across) that is tough and fibrous. Unlike either onion or garlic, it has strap-shaped leaves with triangular bases, about 1.5 to 8 mm wide. It produces many white flowers in a round cluster (umbel) on stalks 25 to 60 cm tall.

It grows in slowly expanding perennial clumps, but also readily sprouts from seed. In warmer areas, garlic chives may remain green all year round. In cold areas, leaves and stalks completely die back to the ground and resprout from roots or rhizomes in the spring.

Seasonal development:

The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall and lasts about 1 month. The flowers are fragrant. Each flower is replaced by a green seed capsule that is 3-celled and has 3 rounded lobes. Each capsule contains several seeds that are small, black, and shiny. Unlike some Allium spp., no aerial bulbets are produced. The root system consists of an elongated bulb with fibrous roots at the bottom. This plant reproduces by its seeds and vegetative offsets. It often forms clumps of plants.

The nectar of the flowers attracts bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and skippers. Some of the bees probably collect pollen as well.

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