Chives are a perennial herb that belongs to the onion family. I have two types of chives growing in the garden, each flowering at different times of the season.
The common chives have tubular leaves/stalks and blooms in May and early June with a mauve flower.
They have a mild onion taste, require minimal care and are a cool season crop. Both stems and flowers are edible.
When cutting be sure to cut back right to about 2-5 cm from ground. When diced they can be added to soups, stews,and omelettes. The flowers can be a garnish or added to a salad. They are low in calories but high in nutrients.
Garlic chives also known as Chinese chives bloom at the end of summer with lovely white flowers. These have flat leaves/stems and have a mild garlic taste. A bulb forms in the ground but it is not edible.
The flowers turn to seed heads. You can collect the seeds for seed swaps at Seedy Saturdays. These seeds will drop and spread quickly and the next year you will have all sorts of new little plants.
Just look how many seeds develop with one garlic chive flower.
Once the chive flower goes to seed they will spread rapidly. iI you don’t want this to happen be sure to pinch off the flower heads before they go to seed. If you collect the seeds they are great to give to other gardeners, share at Seedy Saturdays or plant somewhere else in your garden. Here is a little label you can print off to go with your packet of seeds.