Chives and Garlic Chives

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Are chives and garlic chives they the same plant? Nope.

Both are onion family members and both have similar growth habits but there are a few notable differences.

chives in sunlight greenhouse
Plain Ol’ Chives Flowering

Taste for one. Chives taste oniony. Garlic chives are well, garlicky.

Garden or plain chives are known botanically as Allium schoenoprasum.

The long leaves are rounded and hollow.

Clipped Chives
Hollow Leaves Plain Chives

When the purple flowers (as in the top photo) appear take a good look and you might notice each “ball” is actually made up of smaller individual purple flowers. These little flowers have a  deliciously peppery/spicy flavor and can be eaten raw!

Separated Chive Blossoms
Individual Chive Flowers

Garlic Chives are know by their Latin name:

Allium tuberosum.

Garlic Chives leaves are flat
Garlic Chives Flat Leaves

The leaves of this plant are flat like thick blades of grass. The flowers are white and are borne on long umbrella like flower stalks and they attract beneficial bugs like crazy! The flowers can be eaten as well as the leaves, and are sometimes used in Asian cooking  before the blooms fully open.

Garlic Chives Soldier beetles and green bee
Garlic Chive Flowers and Beneficials

Now for some Chive and Garlic Chive similarities:

Both plants re-seed like crazy if you let the black seeds drop after the flowers have begun to dry. See them? There are zillions waiting to drop all over the garden!

Both plants can be snipped and used fresh or in recipes.

Both Chives and Garlic Chives do well in containers.

Both plants grow nicely indoors with plenty of bright light.

Both plants are pretty darn cold hardy and return ever year without fail in my Zone 5 Illinois garden. Check your hardiness zone to see if they’ll over-winter at your place!

Read more:  Growing Herbs for Mosquito Season?

If you have room in your garden for more than one chive plant, why not give them both a try?

Source: Gardening 101

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