1.2-SpeciesAllium schoenoprasum L. - Chives + Overview Chivesis the common name of the species Allium schoenoprasum. It, like most of the other species of the Allium genus, is a choice edible. A perennial plant, it is widespread in nature across much of Europe, Asia and North America. Allium schoenoprasum is the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old Worlds. The name of the species derives from the Greek σχοίνος, skhoínos (sedge) and πράσον, práson (leek). Its English name, chives, derives from the French word cive, from cepa, the Latin word for onion. Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in grocery stores or grown in home gardens. In culinary use, the scapes and the unopened, immature flower buds are diced and used as an ingredient for fish, potatoes, soups, and other dishes. Chives have insect-repelling properties that can be used in gardens to control pests. Chives are the only species of Allium native to both the Old World and the New World. Sometimes, the plants found in North America are classified as Allium schoenoprasum var.sibiricum, although this is disputed. Differences among specimens are significant. One example was found in northern Maine growing solitary, instead of in clumps, also exhibiting dingy grey flowers. Although chives are repulsive to insects in general, due to their sulfur compounds, their flowers attract bees, and they are at times kept to increase desired insect life. + The features Chives are an herb, related to onions and garlic, with long green stems and a mild, not-too-pungent flavor. The green stems are the part of the chives that are used as an herb. Chive stems are hollow and are usually used fresh. Chives are typically chopped and can be used as a garnish, although they do have a mild oniony flavor, especially fresh ones. Chives can be featured in all sorts of recipes, from baked potatoes to soups, salads, sauces and omelets. They're frequently mixed with cream cheese to make a savory spread. Chive butter, a compound butter made by blending chopped fresh chives into butter, is frequently served with grilled steaks or roasted poultry. Chives are related to but not the same as garlic chives. Garlic chives have wider, flatter stems which are not hollow, and they have a rather pronounced garlic flavor.
2- Characteristics of the Chives
2.1- Description + The plant Chives are small perennial herbs growing in clumps, probably originated in Siberian highlands. The herb grows best in full sun and a well-drained soil. Its saplings can be grown from seeds or divisions of 2 to 3 bulbs. Chives are a bulb-forming herbaceousperennial plant. Completely grown plant reaches about 30-50 cm (12-20 inches) in height. In the fields, farmers generally prune its leaves periodically to check vogorous growth of crop. In fact, all plantings should be divided every two to three years to prevent over-crowding and root diseases. + The bulbs Unlike onions and garlic, chive’s tiny underground bulbs have unpleasant taste and, therefore, not sought after in cooking. The bulbs grow very close together in dense tufts or clusters, and are of an elongated form, with white, rather firm sheaths, the outer sheath sometimes grey. The bulbs are slender, conical, 2-3 cm (3⁄4 - 1 1⁄4 inches) long and 1 cm (1⁄2 inches) broad, and grow in dense clusters from the roots. + The scapes The scapes (or stems) are hollow and tubular, up to 50 cm (20 inches) long and 2-3 mm (1⁄16 - 1⁄8 inches) across, with a soft texture, although, prior to the emergence of a flower, they may appear stiffer than usual. + The leaves The slender leaves appear early in spring and are long, cylindrical and hollow, tapering to a point and about the thickness of a crowsquill. They grow from 6 to 10 inches high. The leaves, which are shorter than the scapes, are also hollow and tubular, or terete, (round in cross-section) which distinguishes it at a glance from Garlic Chives. Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), also known as Chinese chives, are grown for their mildly garlic-flavored leaves and pretty white flowers. The leaves are flat, not hollow like those of onion chives (Allium schoenoprasum). + The flowers The flower stems, which rise directly from the base, grow slightly taller than leaves and bear small clusters of mauve or purple flower heads. The flowers are pale purple, and star-shaped with six petals, 1-2 cm (1⁄2-3⁄4 in) wide, and produced in a dense inflorescence of 10-30 together; before opening, the inflorescence is surrounded by a papery bract. The petals of the flowers are nearly half an inch long; when dry, their pale-purple colour, which has in Parts a darker flush, changes to rose-colour. The anthers (the pollen-bearing part of the flower) are of a bluish-purple colour. The flowers are in blossom in June and July, and in the most cold and moist situations will mature their seeds, though rarely allowed to do so under cultivation. + The fruits The fruits of chives are small three-valved capsules, maturing in summer. The seed-vessel, or capsule, is a little larger than a hemp seed and is completely concealed within the petals, which are about twice its length. + The seeds The seeds are produced in a small three-valved capsule. The small seeds which it contains are black when ripe and similar to Onion seeds.