Chives, Onion, Allium schoenoprasum


Chives in the Kitchen:

No productive garden can be without chives. Onion chives is less overpowering than garlic chives and adds interest to many dishes. It’s much nicer in lettuce than onions and blends well with other herbs. You can cut it up finely to garnish soups or mix it in scrambeled eggs, it’s phantastic in potato salad, herb butters and dips. Chives is usually not cooked as it loses its subtle flavour. The flowers are edible too and make a nice vinegar. The classic French fines herbes (fine herbs) consists of: chervil, parsley, tarragon and chive.

Chives for your Health:

Chives is packed with flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

Chopping up chives finely makes perfectly sense: cutting or crushing converts an anti-oxidant called thio-sulfinite found in chives into allicin. Allicin has the ability to reduce the cholestorol production in the liver. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties too.

Another important benefit of allicin: it’s good for your heart. It helps to reduce the stiffness of the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure.

Furthermore, another organic compound found in chives, quercetin, has been directly connected to lowering cholesterol levels and plaque in the arteries, effectively preventing atherosclerosis and lowering your risk for stroke and heart attacks.

Chives contains more vitamin A than any other allium family member vegetables and  various antioxidants, vitamin K and C. Chives is one of the richest sources in vitamin K, once again, it contains more vitamin K  than other members of the allium family.Vitamin K is not found readily in common foods. Vitamin K fights, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, is good for the bone health and against athritis. The list of health benefits goes on. A good herb to use everyday – only remember to chop it finely!

In the garden:

Perennial onion chives likes sun to part shade, clumps up nicely and can be cut right to the ground. Only in very cold regions it will die back in winter to reemerge in spring. Chives will grow in containers and look great in the perennial border, along walkways. Soil needs to be moist, fertile, rich, and well-draining.chives consistent watering throughout the growing season for high yields divided every two to three years to prevent over-crowding and root diseases.

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C to USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C


Dr Mercola

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Height + Width:

Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba




Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa


Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu



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