Chinese onion
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Subgenus: A. subg. Cepa
A. chinense
Binomial name
Allium chinense

Allium chinense (also known as Chinese onion,[3][4] Chinese scallion,[3] glittering chive,[5] Japanese scallion,[3] Kiangsi scallion,[4] and Oriental onion[3]) is an edible species of Allium, native to China,[3] and cultivated in many other countries.[6] Its close relatives include the onion, scallion, leek, chive, and garlic.[7]

Flowers of Allium chinense


Allium chinense is native to China (in Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces).[3] It is naturalized in other parts of Asia as well as in North America.[3][8][9]



Owing to its very mild and "fresh" taste, A. chinense is often pickled and served as a side dish in Japan and Vietnam to balance the stronger flavor of some other component in a meal. For example, in Japanese cuisine, it is eaten as a garnish on Japanese curry.[10]

In Vietnam, pickled A. chinense, known as củ kiệu, is often served during Tết (Lunar New Year).[citation needed]

In Japanese, it is known as rakkyō (辣韮 or 薤). Glass bottles of white rakkyō bulb pickles are sold in Asian supermarkets in North America.[11]


Allium chinense is used as a folk medicine in tonics to help the intestines, and as a stomachic.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Brummitt, N. (2013). "Allium chinense". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T44392537A44396666. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T44392537A44396666.en. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Allium chinense". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Allium chinense". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  4. ^ a b Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database: Allium. University of Melbourne. Updated 3 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  5. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 347. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
  6. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 196 藠头 jiao tou Allium chinense G. Don, Mem. Wern. Nat. Hist. Soc. 6: 83. 1827.
  7. ^ Block, E. (2010). Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 978-0-85404-190-9.
  8. ^ "Allium chinense Rakkyo PFAF Plant Database". Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  9. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Allium chinense". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Japanese beef curry (Curry Rice)". JustHungry. 2007-02-06. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  11. ^ "Niitakaya Rakkyo". Asia Mart, Santa Rosa. Archived from the original on 2021-12-02. Retrieved 2023-06-24.
  12. ^ James A. Duke. "Allium chinense (LILIACEAE)". Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Retrieved 2017-12-15.