Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) is up to 25 cm high plant with aromatic, tubular leaves and lilac blossoms in the time of blooming (June–July). It is native to Europe and Asia. Chives can be grown on gardens, on a sunny or half shadow place, and in pots on window ledges. Just like onion and garlic, it also has a lot of vitamin C and minerals that contribute significantly to supply the body with these important substances. The long tubular leaves can be gathered from April to October, cut just above the ground and used fresh or frozen. Drying is less advisable, since the herb loses not only the colour but also much of the flavour. Versatile herb for salads, vegetable dishes and stews, cream sauces, meat and fish dishes, cheese or scrambled eggs, and chopped fine as a decorative addition to soups. It promotes appetite and digestion.
The common name is derived from the Latin cepa, which means onion, a clue to its mild onion flavour. The Latin name is from schoenus, for “a rush or sedge”, a reference to its reed-like appearance and during the Middle Ages it was called “rush-leek”. Because of its delicate flavour and texture chives is used fresh and raw rather than cooked. Bright green, finely snipped chives in a popular garnish, sprinkled over soups or soured cream, for example. Medicinally, chives was valued for its stimulant effect on the appetite and as an aid to digestion.
(Summarised from A Concise Guide to Herbs, by Jenny Linford)