E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Allium schoenoprasum L.
wild chives
Amaryllidaceae (Lily family)
(Previously in Liliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88075)

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Distribution of Allium schoenoprasum
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Allium schoenoprasum var. sibiricum

Species Information

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Perennial herb from an oblong-egg-shaped, scaly bulb, the bulbs clustered, the outer scales greyish or brownish, membranous, without a fibrous network, the inner scales whitish or pinkish; flowering stems erect, 20-60 cm tall, stout, cylindric, smooth.
Usually 2, borne below the middle of the flowering stem, linear, cylindric, hollow, shorter than the stem, 1-2 mm wide, smooth, the margins entire.
Inflorescence a compact, terminal, head-like cluster of usually many, stalked flowers, above 2 membranous, egg-shaped to lanceolate bracts, the stalks shorter than the flowers; flowers pale pink to purplish, vase-shaped, of 6 distinct tepals; tepals 8-12 mm long, lanceolate to elliptic, long-tapering to pointed tips, erect, in fruit becoming papery and enclosing the capsule; stamens 6, shorter than the tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, more or less egg-shaped, 3-lobed, lacking distinct crests; seeds 6 or fewer, shiny-black.
Cultivated plants can occur as garden escapes.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows, streambanks and lake margins in the montane zone; infrequent in N and E BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, VA, OH, MO, CO, UT, NV and OR; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Allium schoenoprasum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1140 1926 2257
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 95
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 30 325
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 4 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(14), ESSF(6), IMA(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References