Purly Chives - Edible Flowers too! A classic garlic chive with a delightful mild onion flavour. Dark green scallion like leaves with edible lavender flowers. 80 days.
Chives are part of a large genus of approximately 500 species of mostly strong-smelling perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. These allium herbs include garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, and chives, and belong to the lily family. Various allium species have been cultivated since earliest times and are universally important as vegetables, flavorings, and medicinal plants.
These allium herbs were popular among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The strong odor, so typical of these herbs, is due to a variety of sulfur compounds, such as alkyl sulfoxides and allyl sulfides. They are reported to have beneficial effects on the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems.
The leaves are best used when fresh. However, they may also be finely chopped and frozen for later use. The leaves, however, do not keep their flavor when dried. Chives have a mild onion flavor. Their pungency is not as pronounced as that of garlic and onions, which are considered the bigger cousins of chives. The delicate flavor that chives impart to food makes it a very useful herb to use in a variety of situations.
Chives have similar properties to other allium vegetables, except that chives are milder, since they have fewer sulfur compounds. While garlic or onions are well documented to possess anticancer, anticlotting, hypolipidemic, antibacterial, antiviral, and decongestant properties, chives could be expected to possess similar, but substantially attenuated, characteristics.
Population studies have shown that a higher intake of allium vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of several types of cancers. The organosulfur compounds they contain inhibit tumor growth and cell proliferation, and arrest the cell cycle in tumor cells. Allium vegetables, including chives, especially have a protective effect against both esophageal and stomach cancer as well as prostate cancer. The highest antioxidant activity in chives is observed in the leaves, which are also rich in flavonoids.
Chives are also beneficial to rose bushes, since they emit an odor which discourages aphids.