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Allium hookeri


Allium hookeri Thwaites

Family Name: Amaryllidaceae
Common Name: Chinese Garlic Chives, Royale Chives, Hooker's Onion, East Himalayan Chives, Green Dragon Chives, 青龙菜 (qing long cai)

Qing Long Cai (青龙菜) is a nutritious herb rich in antioxidants which is popular in Asian cuisine. It contains compounds that may help to prevent age-related diseases.


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Genus Epithet
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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Compact
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 0.6 m


Native Distribution Bhutan to South Central China, Sri Lanka
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Highland / Montane, Temperate
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial herb up to 0.3-0.6 m tall.
Foliage Linear leaves are thick with a prominent midrib (30-46 cm long, 0.6-0.8 cm wide).
Flowers Round, umbel inflorescence is up to 0.6 m tall and produced from the underground bulb. It is composed of small, white to greenish white, star-shaped flowers.
Fruit Fruit is a dry, dehiscent capsule.
Habitat It occurs in temperate forests and grasslands on moist soils up to 4,200 m above sea level.
Associated Fauna Pollinated by wasps (Eumenes sp., Campsomeris sp.) and ants (Camponotus sp.).
Cultivation Fertilise every 1-3 months for plants in true ground. Grows best in moist, well-drained soils.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers, Edible Storage Organs
Food (Fruit or Vegetable): Raw or cooked leaves, roots and bulbs are used as vegetable or flavouring and flowers as a salad garnish in China, North India and Southeast Asia (Herb or Spice)
Medicinal: It contains compounds that may help to protect the brain and prevent age-related diseases (Doan et al., 2023).

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Prefers Cool Environment


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Thick
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Truncate / Square
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Typical Foliar Size 30 cm to 46 cm

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Inflorescence Type Umbel

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 33817
Species ID 8233
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 11 May 2024.