Chives

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Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are the smallest species of the onion family[1] Alliaceae, native to Europe, Asia and North America.[2] Allium schoenoprasum is also the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old World and is a perennial.

Its species name derives from the Greek skhoínos (sedge) and práson (leek).[3] Its English name, chive, derives from the French word cive, which was derived from cepa, the Latin word for onion.[4]

Culinary uses for chives involve shredding its leaves (straws) for use as condiment for fish, potatoes and soups. Because of this, it is a common household herb, frequent in gardens as well as in grocery stores. It also has insect-repelling properties which can be used in gardens to control pests.[5]

Contents

Biology

The chive is a bulb-forming herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 30–50 cm tall. The bulbs are slender conical, 2–3 cm long and 1 cm broad, and grow in dense clusters from the roots. The leaves are hollow tubular, up to 50 cm long, and 2–3 mm in diameter, with a soft texture, although, prior to the emergence of a flower from a leaf, it may appear stiffer than usual. The flowers are pale purple, star-shaped with six tepals, 1–2 cm wide, and produced in a dense inflorescence of 10-30 together; before opening, the inflorescence is surrounded by a papery bract. The seeds are produced in a small three-valved capsule, maturing in summer. The herb flowers from April to May in the southern parts of its habitat zones and in June in the northern parts.[6][7]

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