Edible alliums

Edible alliums are really useful in the kitchen, they include versatile vegetables such as onions (Allium cepa), shallots (Allium cepa Aggregatum Group), garlic, and leeks and  herbs such as, chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and wild garlic (Allium ursinum) which make great garnishes in salads, soups and many other dishes.


Edible alliums have characteristic slender grey-green leaves and a distinct pungent aroma when crushed. If you leave some un-harvested they have pom-pom like flower heads that are attractive to pollinators. Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) makes a spreading carpet of leaves in early spring before producing starry white flowers.


All alliums prefer an open sunny site with well-drained soil, although chives and wild garlic will grow well in partial shade.


High humidity around the foliage can made the plants susceptible to diseases. Crops will be poor in shady sites.

Did you know?

The flowers of chives and wild garlic are edible, so you can use them as a garnish or add them to salads for colour and flavour.

Grow edible alliums





Buy alliums from

Every purchase supports the work of the RHS

Useful advice

Choosing mini vegetables

Choosing mini vegetables

Herbs: growing

Herbs: growing

Vegetables in containers

Vegetables in containers

Vegetables: growing for winter

Vegetables: growing for winter

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.