Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng.

Last updated: 02 April 2015

Scientific Name

Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng.


Allium angulosum Lour. [Illegitimate], Allium argyi H.Lév., Allium chinense Maxim. [Illegitimate], Allium clarkei Hook.f., Allium roxburghii Kunth, Allium sulvia Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don, Allium tricoccum Blanco, Allium tuberosum Roxb. [Illegitimate], Allium tuberosum f. yezoense (Nakai) M.Hiroe, Allium uliginosum G.Don, Allium yesoense Nakai, Allium yezoense Nakai, Nothoscordum sulvia (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) Kunth [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bawang kuchai [2]
English Fragrant- flowered garlic, sweet leek, [2] chinese chives [3]
China Jiu cai, bian chai, zhuang yang cao, qi yang cao, chang sheng jiu, [2] nian hua, nian hua jiu cai, nin fa kau ts'oi [4]
India Maroi-nakuppi [4]
Indonesia Kecai, pucai (Javanese); bawang kucai, ganda (Sundanese); [2] kucai [3]
Thailand He, phiec cat ngan, [2] kuichai , hom-paen[3]
Philippines Kutsay (Tagalog); ganda (Bisaya); amput di imayyaw (Ifugao) [3]
Cambodia Kachaay [3]
Vietnam h[ej], n[es]n t[af]u, [3] hẹ, rau hẹ [4]
German Nausdauernder lauch, schnittporree [4]
Russia Luk dushistyi [4].

Geographical Distributions

Allium tuberosum is believed to have originated in China, where it was certainly grown in the 10th Century and probably even as early as 200 BC. It grows wild in the central and northern parts of Asia, and is cultivated in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Nepal, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. [3]

The optimum temperature for A. tuberosum is about 20°C. In Indonesia, it is grown in the highlands up to 2200 m altitude on fertile and loose soils. [3]

Botanical Description

A. tuberosum comes from the family of Liliaceae, is a perennial herb which forms dense clumps. It is 20-40 cm tall, with a prominently spreading rhizome from where thick, long and persistent roots emerge. The bulbs are indistinct, narrowly ovoid, measuring 15-20 mm x 15 mm and with several protective brown bulb­-coat leaves that break up into netted fibres. [3]

There are 4-9 foliage leaves, which are distichous, linear, measuring 13-45 cm x 2-10 mm, flat above, slightly keeled below, not folded lengthwise and suberect or curved. There is 1 peduncle that arises from ground. It is com­pressed, with 2 longitudinal ribs, up to 50 cm long and solid. [3]

The inflorescence is 3-5 cm in diameter, umbellate, many-flowered and without bulbils. The spathe is short, per­sistent and opens with 1-3 valves. The pedicels are 14-35 mm long and subequal. The flowers are white, widely opened, star-like and slightly fragrant. The tepals are oblong to ovate and measure 6 mm x 3 mm. The stamens and pistil are up to the length of the tepals. [3]

The fruit is obovoid, measures 5-6 mm long and wide. [3]

The seed is irregularly depressed spherical, measures 3-4 mm long and black. [3]


Under tropical conditions, growth is not interrupted by dormancy or by flowering. Nevertheless, flowering occurs in cultivars grown in Malaysia and Thailand, and the markets are commonly supplied with inflorescences as well. Flowering can be induced by using incandescent light to create artificial long days. [3]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation


No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. tuberosum Rottler ex Sprengel.[3]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 April 18; cited 2015 April 02] Available from:
  2. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Vol. 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC-IMR: 2002. p.30.
  3. Sulistiarini D, Djamal J & Raharjo I. Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Sprengel. In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1999. p. 99-100.
  4. Philippines medicinal plants. Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Sprenge [homepage on the Internet] c2014. [updated 2014; cited 2015 April 2]