Allium schoenoprasum, also commonly known as Chives, is an edible species of the Allium genus Its close relatives include the garlic, shallot, leek, scallion, and Chinese onion.
A perennial plant, it is widespread in nature across much of Europe, Asia, and North America. A. schoenoprasum is the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old Worlds.
The name of the species derives from the Greek skhoínos (sedge) and, prason (leek). Its English name, chives, derives from the French word cive, from cepa, the Latin word for onion.
Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in grocery stores or grown in home gardens. In culinary use, the scapes and the unopened, immature flower buds are diced and used as an ingredient for fish, potatoes, soups, and other dishes. Chives have insect-repelling properties that can be used in gardens to control pests.
The medicinal properties of chives are similar to those of garlic, but weaker; the faint effects in comparison with garlic are probably the main reason for their limited use as a medicinal herb. They also have mild stimulant, diuretic, and antiseptic properties. 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.