Name: Chives

Latin Name: Allium schoenoprasum


Chives is the common name of Allium schoenoprasum, the smallest species of the onion genus. It, like most of the other species, is a choice edible. A perennial plant, it is widespread in nature across much of Europe, Asia and North America.

Chives are a well-known member of the onion family. Chives are the meekest of the all the onions.  This herb is native to Britain, Northern Europe and North America. They are the easiest to grow of the fresh herbs used for culinary purposes. Chives are found in many English, French and German gardens.

Chives are also really good for you! They are mildly antibiotic and contain high concentrations of vitamins A and C, with measurable amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine and niacin. A great option for garnishing dishes, not only does it add colour but also extra nutrition.


Use fresh chives in fresh salads, combined with egg and omelet recipes, cream cheese, as a flavored garnish on soups and potatoes.  Clip the flower heads and enjoy the stalks all season long.  Mix chives with softened butter and add a dollop to grilled steak, chicken or veal.  Chopped leaves are a great garnish for sour cream and a classic addition to baked potatoes.

Health Benefits

Chives, which are high in vitamin C, potassium and folic acid are a good addition to modern recipes to restore vital nutrients that are lost in cooking. It is known to promote good digestion; ease stomach upset and prevents bad breath.  They have a diuretic effect that will lower high blood pressure.

*It is the policy of not to advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use.  This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment.  Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for advice if you suffer with an illness, symptom or health issue.

History & Tradition

Originally chives were found in Asia and Europe.  Chives have been used for centuries but probably not cultivated until the Middle Ages in Europe.