Chive, Allium schoenoprasum
With spherical flowers, chive (also called wild chives) is one of the commonest naturally-growing herbs in Finland. Its long and hollow grass-like leaves and spherical lilac flowers are a familiar sight not only in gardens but also in coastal and rocky areas. Chives are best used fresh, as they contain plenty of vitamin C. They also contain iron, vitamin A and iodine.
Chives bring a mild onion-like flavour to dishes, and are good in fresh salads, soups, sauces, and omelettes, with fish and in sandwiches. The flowers can be used either dried or fresh. They make beautiful garnishes for food, and are just as pretty when used as table decorations.
Something to try
Chives are familiar to many as an ingredient in cooking. Less known, however, is that flowers can also be used. They make lovely garnishes for many types of dishes. They can also be used to flavour food in the same way as the stems. The flowers also have a slight onion flavour. Try the flowers added to butter as a seasoning for grilled foods, for example.
Gathering the plants
Chives can be picked throughout the growing season. Once the plant is in bloom, it must be cut in order for new shoots to grow. It flowers in June-July.
Other interesting facts
Grassworm is an excellent addition to perennial flowerbeds. Its captivatingly beautiful flowers bring colour to any garden–and are also irresistible for bees and other pollinators.