Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

chives Allium schoenoprasum, the smallest and the most delicate member of the onion family, are the cultivated descendant of a wild plant of C. Europe, which is still found, mostly in rocky and mountainous regions. Wild chives and closely related species are found throughout the northern temperate zone of the Old and New World.

The leaves of chives, which are thin, hollow, and round in cross-section, are the part used. When cut they re-grow, so that a clump of chives can provide leaves from spring to autumn. It dies down in winter but reappears next spring. During its dormant period the clump can be spread by division of the small bulbs.