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The National Plant Collection® of Allium schoenoprasum

I have been growing and enjoying chives for many years, and collecting and trailing the different forms more seriously in recent years, and I wanted to share my experience with anyone else that wants to know more about these simple culinary delights. As a result of my enthusiasm I registered my activity with Plant Heritage and was invited to apply for a National Plant Collection® of Allium schoenoprasum (the botanical name for chives), which I did. On 7th June 2022 they awarded my collection of chives National Plant Collection status. This website will be the conduit for passing on what happens to my plants.

The National Plant Collection® Scheme is run by Plant Heritage, in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. It is a network of volunteers who collect and maintain in cultivation as many different garden plants within their remit as they can acquire. By this means it is hoped to conserve garden plants as they go out of fashion or disappear where Nurseries close. There is a National Plant Collection® of Allium schoenoprasum (chives) and Allium tuberosum (garlic chives) in northwest Devon, and there is a National Plant Collection® of Allium specie, cultivars. and hybrids (except A. porrum, A. cepa and A. sativum, that's leeks, onions and garlic) in Surrey, which includes many cultivars of chives. My new National Plant Collection® of Allium schoenoprasum is the first in Wales, not far from Snowdon on a windy mountainside. It is the policy of Plant Heritage to encourage duplicate, partially duplicate, or overlapping National Plant Collections® in different locations, for many reasons including bio-security, experience of growing in different climatic conditions, and a guard against total loss due to unforeseeable circumstances. Every Collection is collected and maintained differently reflecting the owners areas of interest and provides different incites and conclusions of the usefulness and worth of each garden plant in varying situations. National Collection holders don't get paid anything, in fact it costs most of them a lot of money just to maintain their Collections. Some Collections are part of a commercial business and so gain some income from propagation for sale, but not enough to cover all the time and money. 

The aim of this website, is to provide specific information about the different cultivars with pictures related to the actual accessions I have now, and will be collecting in the future, which I hope will show to those who are interested the differences there are, if any, in the plants you may get from around the UK. The printed "RHS Plant Finder" and online RHS "Find a plant" only give you names and sources (although I have found the source may no longer have the plant for sale in all cases). I hope to provide actual information of the actual cultivar or taxa, which is difficult to find and very dispersed, and even contradictory, online. I will try to add up-to-date information of my experiences and investigations. Maintaining and developing a Nation Plant Collection® is of course an ongoing process and takes many years, so observations will be added in dribs and drabs as time allows.

This website is not a basis for an online shop for chive plants, and my National Plant Collection is not a commercial enterprise. I would prefer you to buy plants directly from the original sources and support our specialist UK Herb Farms and Nurseries, that devote themselves to help conserve our garden plant heritage. For this reason source information will be included with plant names and accessions information. I will try and provide as must information on availability as possible, but sources will come and go year to year, so patience will be needed in tracking down specific rare forms. Since Brexit most smaller specialist European nurseries have stopped exporting to the UK because of the horrendous amount of paperwork involved in not being in the Single Market, so this has reduced even more the availability.


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"Conservation through cultivation"


Allium schoenoprasum


To contact me about this website or chives please email.


Allium schoenoprasum 'Corsican White'



Information on the National Plant Collections® scheme is on the Plant Heritage website.

Look at the Plant Heritage webpage of Allium National Plant Collections® for details of each Collection.

Search the National Plant Collections® database for other types of National Pant Collections®.






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Copyright © David Barrett, 2022.  Site last revised 13th August 2022