Chives Facts

Chives Facts
Chives are type of onion that belong to the amaryllis family. They are native to temperate parts of Europe, Asia and North America. Chives are part of human diet at least 5.000 years (they were initially cultivated and used in China). Romans brought chives to Britain where these plants still grow wild near the Hadrian's wall (coastal wall in the north part of England built nearly 1.900 years ago in defensive purposes). Chives were very popular and often cultivated in Europe during the Middle Ages. This plant requires fertile, well-drained soil and plenty of sun for the successful growth. People cultivate chives as a source of food and in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Chives Facts:
Chives have hollow, thin, tubular stem that can reach 12 to 20 inches in height.
Just like other types of onions, chives develop bulbs from the roots. Bulbs are not very large. They are slender, conical in shape and arranged in dense clusters.
Chives produce long, slender, grass-like green leaves that are round on the cross section.
Chives develop purple, star-shaped flowers arranged in dense terminal clusters composed of 10 to 30 individual flowers. Each flower contains both male and female reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Chives bloom at the beginning of the spring (usually from April to May). Flowers attract bees, responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of chives is capsule filled with seed. It matures during the summer and splits in three parts to release the seed.
Chives propagates via seed or through division of clumps.
Leaves of chives are used in human diet. They have mild, sweet to savory, slightly pungent flavor. Flowers are also edible, but they are mostly used as garnish.
Chives are rich source of vitamin K, C and folic acid and minerals such as manganese, magnesium and iron.
Chives are mostly consumed fresh. They are often used as ingredient of salads, sauces, soups and dishes made of cheese, eggs, potatoes, meat and seafood. Finely chopped leaves can be mixed with butter to improve its taste and aroma.
Leaves of chives are used to reduce high blood pressure, facilitate digestion, alleviate stomach discomfort and prevent bad breath. They can also improve strength of nails and hair. Juice obtained from leaves can be used against mildew, scabs and fungal infections.
Chives can be used instead conventional insecticides in the gardens because this plant contains chemicals which repel most types of pest insects. Chives can facilitate pollination of other plants in the garden due to ability to attract bees.
Chives were used in the past for fortune telling. Romanian gypsies were specialized for this type of divination.
Dried bunches of chives were used for the protection of the houses from the evil spirits in the past.
Chives is perennial plant (lifespan: more than 2 years in the wild).

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