A mild flavour, somewhat like a cross between garlic and chives, they are delicious in salads.
This species is being increasingly grown as a garden vegetable in Britain. A very ornamental plant, it grows well as an edging plant in the flower garden.
Sow spring in a cold frame. The seed has a fairly short viability and should not be used when more than 1 year old. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Plant out in late summer if the plants have developed sufficiently, otherwise plant them out the following spring.
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich moist but well-drained soil.
This plant succeeds in temperate and tropical climates. It appears to be fully hardy in Britain.
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other.
Leaves - raw or cooked. A mild flavour, somewhat like a cross between garlic and chives, they are delicious in salads. The flavour is destroyed by lengthy cooking. The leaves are available from early spring until late in the autumn. They contain about 2.6% protein, 0.6% fat, 2.4% carbohydrate, 0.95% ash. They also contain small amounts of vitamins A, B1 and C. The rather small bulbs are about 10mm in diameter and are produced in clusters on a short rhizome.
Flowers and flower buds - raw or cooked. A delicious flavouring and pretty garnish for the autumn salad bowl.
Root - raw or cooked.
An edible oil is obtained from the seed.