White chives?

sleevendogJune 7, 2014

I have many natrualized lavender/purple...hundreds and let them go a bit wild...in some proper areas that keep other weeds down...all good, but noticed some bright white blooms among the herd ...
Just some odd dilute? (Not pale, snow white)
I know it is not unusual but it is here, after 20 yrs...
Curious why ...and also where white chives are common...

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OldDutch(4)

Garlic chives bloom pure white, bigger than regular chives with heavier stems, too. Also more invasive than regular chives. OTOH most blue flowers also have white varieties. I am not aware that pure white flowers in standard chives are common anywhere.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 4:54PM
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sleevendog

These are the standard garden lavender chives...
But a few are pure white...i'll add a pic when back on-line...
No internt here but phone...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:37PM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

It's possible you have a freak mutation of regular chives. Or maybe perhaps some other allium crossed with them, they seeded, and white flowered chives is the result. Whatever the case, if I were you I'd try to propogate them.

Rodney

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:06PM
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sleevendog

Just for kicks i did mark them with a loose band...i'll
save the seeds and see what happens...i'm fair to good at
Seed starting...
(Having trouble on phone without typos)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:37PM
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sleevendog

I realize it is not rare. but it is in my world...
Out of thousands on my farm, naturalized for a reason..
I have areas that massive chives snuff out weeds and fill some scruffy rock plateaus along with mosses that do not need any tending...

I just can't find, doing internet searches, where the whites are more common...
I would like some whites in a few selective spots where the common purple are so 'bold'...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:24PM
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sleevendog

I realize it is not rare. but it is in my world...
Out of thousands on my farm, naturalized for a reason..
I have areas that massive chives snuff out weeds and fill some scruffy rock plateaus along with mosses that do not need any tending...

I just can't find, doing internet searches, where the whites are more common...
I would like some whites in a few selective spots where the common purple are so 'bold'...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:34PM
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planatus(6)

Well, well! In the past a similar thing happened in Wallington, UK, and a variety called 'Wallington White' entered commerce. Other names for white-flowered chives include 'Fine White' and 'Corsican White' -- none currently available in commerce.

If I were you I would tag those babies and move them to a separate bed for vegetative propagation. Assuming the color is stable (let's assume you got lucky with recessive genes), you have a salable product to an R&D plant breeding outfit like TerraNova. Chive blossoms have value in the cut flower market.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:58AM
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sleevendog

Interesting. I did come across a photo of something similar but they were a bit flat and weak growing wild on the ground. (did an internet search on my phone sat night)

I did tag them with soft velcro bands...sturdy 15inch stalks like my others. Not easily removed from their spot as they are growing on rock with mosses.
Never needed to save seeds of such...in the catskills mnts. just above Saugerties where the annual garlic festival is held every August...perfect growing conditions for alliums.
After the forsythia and lilacs, the only thing in bloom is the chives right now...a few wild flowers.
Garden is just now planted, tomatoes and the rest of it...

No effort.
Just a bit curious how this plays out...though a good guess is that it returns to dominant lavender...without the hands of an expert.
I may cover with mesh bags i have for my fruit tree...
But i have no idea the recommended method for such a thing...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 5:34PM
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planatus(6)

I think you are right, in that the wrong puff of wind will head the genes back toward purple. Even right now, in this generation, if you were to grow out the seeds from you white chives, they might come out purple. But with vegetative propagation -- letting the plants form bunches and then dividing and replanting them -- the flowers will stay white because they will have no opportunity to cross.
Meanwhile you can select for vigor and flower form.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 7:58AM
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OldDutch(4)

Alliums are also insect pollinated; so you are almost certainly going to have contaminated seed. Best if you can get a piece of the white clump and start it elsewhere, propagating by division first. Then if you can get some sort of isolation resulting in a pure white stand, save seed and see if it comes true. Even if the divisions are true, the seedlings may not be. If you think this is going to take some time, you are correct - probably some years total, definitely if you try to get a seedling variety into commerce. One by divisions will be much quicker, unless you stumble into true from seed right off the bat, but that will take isolation and that may be more space from any neighboring allium than you realize.

All that being said, white flowered chives sounds like a worthy goal to breed for. It will take marketing eventually, but it should go real well with clumps of blue fescue and others of that size. It would be gorgeous in a rock garden.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:41AM
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planatus(6)

I should add that you won't need a huge population. The first thing a propagator would do is to try to grow new plants using tissue culture.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:55AM
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