Origin: Sino-Mongolian steppe
Improvement status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~150
Germination tested 11/2021: 63%
Life cycle: Perennial
A fantastic perennial edible, garlic chives have a place in any garden. The flavor is more like garlic than chives, but the plant certainly resembles chives, except it has broad and flat leaves instead of round It is similarly the leaves and flowers that are eaten (not the small bulbs). They are hugely important ingredient in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, frequently used in dumplings, pancakes, soups, stir fries, and pickles. Korean people often use garlic chives to flavor kimchi. Garlic chives are sometimes grown blanched — cut to the ground and hidden from sunlight during peak growing season, producing pale yellow leaves and a subtler flavor (they are also sometimes available like this in Asian markets).
Generally clump-forming, we haven't seen garlic chives spread aggressively, but there are certainly reports of them doing that (largely via seed). Originally from the Sino-Mongolian steppe, garlic chives have become popular among chefs and gardeners the world over, and in turn the species has naturalized in various parts of the world, including North America. Hardy to Zone 4, they tend to die back to the ground in Zones 4-7, but will stay green year round in Zone 8 and warmer.
Our seed comes from Lorna Koestner in Duluth, Minnesota.