Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup


Nutritional Information

1 tbsp chopped, chives

  • Calories 1
  • Calories from Fat 0.18
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.02g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0.004g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.003g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.008g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 0mg0%
  • Potassium 9mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0.13g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0.1g0%
  • Sugars 0.06g
  • Protein 0.1g0%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 3%
  • Vitamin C 3%

When In Season:

    Minnesota: April (early) - June (late)
    Rhode Island: May (early) - November (early)

Chives Cooking Considerations:

No Cooking Considerations yet. Add some!

Chives Storage Considerations:

No Storage Considerations yet. Add some!

Chives Substitutions:

No Substitutions yet. Add some!

Chives on Wikipedia:

This article is about the plant Chives. For other uses, see Chives (disambiguation). Chives Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Monocots Order: Asparagales Family: Alliaceae Genus: Allium Species: A. schoenoprasum Binomial name Allium schoenoprasum L.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are the smallest species of the onion family[1] Alliaceae, native to Europe, Asia and North America.[2] Allium schoenoprasum is also the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old World.

Its species name derives from the Greek skhoínos (sedge) and práson (leek).[3] Its English name, chive, derives from the French word cive, which was derived from cepa, the Latin word for onion.[4]

Culinary uses for chives involve shredding its leaves (straws) for use as condiment for fish, potatoes and soups. Because of this, it is a common household herb, frequent in gardens as well as in grocery stores. It also has insect-repelling properties which can be used in gardens to control pests.[5]



The chive is a bulb-forming herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 30–50 cm tall. The bulbs are slender conical, 2–3 cm long and 1 cm broad, and grow in dense clusters from the roots. The leaves are hollow tubular, up to 50 cm long, and 2–3 mm in diameter, with a soft texture, although, prior to the emergence of a flower from a leaf, it may appear stiffer than usual. The flowers are pale purple, star-shaped with six tepals, 1–2 cm wide, and produced in a dense inflorescence of 10-30 together; before opening, the inflorescence is surrounded by a papery bract. The seeds are produced in a small three-valved capsule, maturing in summer. The herb flowers from April to May in the southern parts of its habitat zones and in June in the northern parts.[6][7]

Chives are the only species of Allium native to both the Old World and New. Sometimes, the plants found in North America are classified as A. schoenoprasum var. sibiricum, although this is disputed. There have been significant differences among specimens: one example was found in northern Maine growing solitary, instead of in clumps, also exhibiting dingy grey flowers.[8]

Albeit repulsive to insects in general, due to its sulfur compounds, its flowers are attractive to bees, and it is sometimes kept to increase desired insect life.[9]



Chives are grown for their leaves, which are used for culinary purposes as flavoring herb, and provide a somewhat milder flavour than those of its neighbouring Allium species.

Chives have a wide variety of culinary uses, such as in traditional dishes in France[10] and Sweden,[11] among others. In his 1806 book Attempt at a Flora (Försök til en flora), Retzius describes how chives are used with pancakes, soups, fish and sandwiches.[11] It is also an ingredient of the gräddfil sauce served with the traditional herring dish served at Swedish midsummer celebrations. The flowers may also be used to garnish dishes.[12] In Poland chives are being served with quark cheese.

Chives are one of the ``fines herbes`` of French cuisine, which also include tarragon, chervil and/or parsley.

Chives can be found fresh at most markets year-round, making it a readily available herb; it can also be dry-frozen without much impairment to its taste, giving home growers the opportunity to store large quantities harvested from their own garden.[4]

In cultivation

Retzius also describes how farmers would plant chives between the rocks making up the borders of their flowerbeds, to keep the plants free from pests (such as Japanese beetles).[11][13] While the growing plant repels unwanted insect life, the juice of the leaves can be used for the same purpose, as well as fighting fungal infections, mildew and scab.[14][15][16]

Its flowers are attractive to bees, which are important for gardens with an abundance of plants in need of pollination.

Medical uses

The medical properties of chives are similar to those of garlic, but weaker; the faint effects in comparison with garlic are probably the main reason for its limited use as a medicinal herb. Containing numerous organosulfur compounds such as allyl sulfides[17] and alkyl sulfoxides, chives are reported to have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system.[18] As chives are usually served in small amounts and never as the main dish, negative effects are rarely encountered, although digestive problems may occur following over-consumption.[18]

Chives are also rich in vitamins A and C,[19] contain trace amounts of sulfur, and are rich in calcium and iron.[20]


Chives are cultivated both for their culinary uses and their ornamental value; the violet flowers are often used in ornamental dry bouquets.[21]

Chives thrive in well drained soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH of 6-7 and full sun.[2]

Chives can be grown from seed and mature in summer, or early the following spring. Typically, chives need to be germinated at a temperature of 15 °C to 20 °C and kept moist. They can also be planted under a cloche or germinated indoors in cooler climates, then planted out later. After at least four weeks, the young shoots should be ready to be planted out.

Chives are also easily propagated by division.[22]

In cold regions, chives die back to the underground bulbs in winter, with the new leaves appearing in early spring.

Chives starting to look old can be cut back to about 2–5 cm. When harvesting, the needed number of stalks should be cut to the base.[22] During the growing season, the plant will continually regrow leaves, allowing for a continuous harvest.[22]

History and cultural importance

Chives have been cultivated in Europe since the Middle Ages, although signs of its usage date back to 5000 years ago.[4] They were sometimes referred to as ``rush leeks`` (from the Greek schoinos meaning rush and parson meaning leek).

The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat. They believed that eating chives would increase blood pressure and acted as a diuretic.[23]

Romanian Gypsies have used chives in fortune telling.[19] It was believed that bunches of dried chives hung around a house would ward off disease and evil.[19]


Chive flower opening

Chives flowering

Clump of chives

Close-up of a chive flower

Close-up of a flower

Capsules with seeds

Close-up of a clump of chives

Chives flowering in a bed


An ant on a chive flower

Chive flowers

See also

Chinese chives


^ LaFray, Joyce (1987). Tropic Cooking: The New Cuisine from Florida and the Islands of the Caribbean. Oakland: Ten Speed Press. pp. 292. ISBN 0898152348.  ^ a b Allium schoenoprasum factsheet, from Kemper center for home gardening, retrieved on June 13, 2006 ^ Gräslök, from Den virtuella floran, retrieved on June 13, 2006 ^ a b c Chives, from, accessed on June 13, 2006 ^ Kaufman, Peter B; Thomas J Carlson, Kaufman B Kaufman, Harry L Brielmann, Sara Warber, Leland J Cseke, James A Duke (1999). Natural Products from Plants. Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 261. 084933134X.  ^ Allium schoenoprasum factsheet, from Kemper center for home gardening, retrieved on June 13, 2006, based on the position of the botanical Garden (Missouri) ^ Gräslök, from Den virtuella floran, retrieved on June 13, 2006, The facts mentioned on the site apply to Sweden, which is in the northern part of the habitat zone. ^ McGary, Mary Jane (2001). Bulbs of North America: North American Rock Garden Society. Portland: Timber Press. pp. 28–29. 088192511X.  ^ Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden. 0 ^ Chives ^ a b c Försök til en Flora Oeconomica Sveciæ by A. J. Retzius (1806) ^ Allium schoenoprasum, from Mountain valley growers, accessed on June 13, 2006 ^ pests - selfsufficientish - pests ^ Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press 1979 ISBN 0-87857-262-7 ^ Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. 1978 ISBN 0-88266-064-0 ^ Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press 1992 ISBN 0-333-47494-5 ^ Burdock, George A (1996). Encyclopedia of Food & Color Additives. Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 87, 95–96. ISBN 0849394120.  ^ a b Chive Talkin', by Winston J. Craig, Ph. D, from, accessed on May 31, 2009 ^ a b c Chives, from ``Sally's place``, accessed on May 31, 2009 ^ Organic Gardening ^ Flower & Garden Magazine, June-July 1996, The lazy gardener's guide to potpourri ^ a b c McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing.  ^ Staub, Jack E. (2008). 75 Exceptional Herbs for Your Garden. Gibbs Smith. p. 54. ISBN 97814236025144. 

External links

Wikiversity has bloom time data for Allium schoenoprasum on the Bloom Clock Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Allium schoenoprasum Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on Chive Nutritional Information Mrs. Grieve's ``A Modern Herbal`` @ Chives, history, cultivation, container growing and a recipe v â€¢ d â€¢ e Herbs and spices   Herbs

Angelica Â· Basil Â· Basil, holy Â· Basil, Thai Â· Bay leaf Â· Boldo Â· Bolivian Coriander Â· Borage Â· Chervil Â· Chives Â· Cicely Â· Coriander leaf (cilantro) Â· Cress Â· Curry leaf Â· Dill Â· Elsholtzia ciliata Â· Epazote Â· Eryngium foetidum (long coriander) Â· Hemp Â· Hoja santa Â· Houttuynia cordata (giấp cá· Hyssop Â· Jimbu Â· Lavender Â· Lemon balm Â· Lemon grass Â· Lemon myrtle Â· Lemon verbena Â· Limnophila aromatica (rice paddy herb) Â· Lovage Â· Marjoram Â· Mint Â· Mitsuba Â· Oregano Â· Parsley Â· Perilla (shiso· Rosemary Â· Rue Â· Sage Â· Savory Â· Sorrel Â· Tarragon Â· Thyme Â· Vietnamese coriander (rau răm· Woodruff


Ajwain (bishop's weed) Â· Aleppo pepper Â· Alligator pepper Â· Allspice Â· Amchur (mango powder) Â· Anise Â· Aromatic ginger Â· Asafoetida Â· Camphor Â· Caraway Â· Cardamom Â· Charoli Â· Cardamom, black Â· Cassia Â· Cayenne pepper Â· Celery seed Â· Chenpi Â· Chili Â· Cinnamon Â· Clove Â· Coriander seed Â· Cubeb Â· Cumin Â· Cumin, black Â· Dill & dill seed Â· Fennel Â· Fenugreek Â· Fingerroot (krachai· Galangal, greater Â· Galangal, lesser Â· Garlic Â· Ginger Â· Golpar Â· Grains of Paradise Â· Grains of Selim Â· Horseradish Â· Juniper berry Â· Kaempferia galanga (kencur· Kokum Â· Lime, black Â· Liquorice Â· Litsea cubeba Â· Mace Â· Mahlab Â· Malabathrum (tejpat· Mustard, black Â· Mustard, brown Â· Mustard, white Â· Nigella (kalonji· Nutmeg Â· Paprika Â· Peppercorn (black, green & white) Â· Pepper, long Â· Radhuni Â· Rose Â· Pepper, Brazilian Â· Pepper, Peruvian Â· Pomegranate seed (anardana· Poppy seed Â· Salt Â· Saffron Â· Sarsaparilla Â· Sassafras Â· Sesame Â· Sichuan pepper (huājiāo, sansho· Star anise Â· Sumac Â· Tasmanian pepper Â· Tamarind Â· Tonka bean Â· Turmeric Â· Vanilla Â· Wasabi Â· Zedoary Â· Zereshk Â· Zest

  Herb and spice mixtures

Adjika Â· Advieh Â· Afghan spice rub Â· Baharat Â· Berbere Â· Bouquet garni Â· Buknu Â· Chaat masala Â· Chaunk Â· Chile powder Â· Chili powder Â· Crab boil Â· Curry powder Â· Fines herbes Â· Five-spice powder Â· Garam masala Â· Garlic salt Â· Harissa Â· Hawaij Â· Herbes de Provence Â· Jerk spice Â· Khmeli suneli Â· Lemon pepper Â· Masala Â· Mitmita Â· Mixed spice Â· Old Bay Seasoning Â· Panch phoron Â· Persillade Â· Pumpkin pie spice Â· Qâlat Daqqa Â· Quatre épices Â· Ras el hanout Â· Recado rojo Â· Sharena sol Â· Shichimi Â· Tabil Â· Tandoori masala Â·