From Academic Kids

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Scientific classification
Binomial name
Allium schoenoprasum

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a member of the onion family (Alliaceae) grown for their leaves, which are used as an herb. Chives have a much milder flavor than onions or garlic. They are referred to only in the plural, because they grow in clumps rather than alone.

Chives are chopped raw and typically used for seasoning salads and omelettes, or as a topping for baked potatoes. They are quite commonly used as a garnish in a number of stir fry dishes in Chinese cuisine, long cuts of which are often tossed in after cooking is complete, for both color and their mild flavor.

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History and Folklore

The ancient Chinese are the first to documented using chives as long ago as 3000 years B.C. and Marco Polo is credited with bringing chives to Europe from China.

Romanian Gypsies have used chives in fortune telling.

It was believed that you should hang bunches of dried chives around your house to ward off disease and evil.

The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat. They believed that eating chives would increase blood pressure and and acted as a diuretic. Most sources tend not to agree with these claims.

The Romans also are attributed with bringing chives over to Europe where they now grow wild. In fact chives now grow wild across most of the Northern Hemisphere.


Chives thrive in well drained soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH of 6.0-7.0 and the full sun. They tolerate light shade, but 6-8 hours of direct light is best.

Chives can be grown from seed in very early spring. However they will need a warm soil temperature so this is not advisable in many countries. Typically Chives need to be germinated at a temperature of 21�C (70�F) and kept moist. It is certainly worth considering germinating the plants indoors in cooler climates then planting out. You may also consider planting them under a cloche. After at least four weeks the young shoots should be ready to be planted out.

The easiest way to cultivate chives is to dig up a good sized clump of them pull the mass of little bulbs apart and replant them. It is suggested that this should be done every 2-3 years.

Cut back if they are looking worse for wear, down to 2.5 cm (1 inch) encourages new growth.[1] (

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