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BOTANICAL NAME:Allium schoenoprasum
COMMON NAMES: Onion chives
FAMILY: Alliaceae, the onion family
ORIGIN: Native to Europe, Asia and North America

Chives is the smallest plant in the onion family. It is an attractive clumping perennial with mildly onion flavoured soft leaves with edible lavender pompom flowers. It forms a low growing clump to 20-30 cm high and 20 cm wide. Chives are a commonly used herb and can be found in supermarkets or grown in home gardens. It is easy to grow and fairly cold tolerant. It does best in full sun but tolerates light shade. It prefers a rich, well-drained moist soil, 5.5 - 7 pH. They can be grown in containers where space is limited.

Food: the mildly onion-flavoured leaves are used in a wide range of dishes, particularly with potatoes, eggs and cheese. The edible lavender pompom flowers are used in salad. Chives are one of the "fines herbes" of French cuisine, which also include tarragon, chervil and/or parsley.
Ornamental: decorative edging plant for herb and vegetable gardens; useful for growing in containers. Chives can also be grown on a sunny windowsill.
Companion plant: chives have pest repellent qualities and can be under-planted with roses. The flowers are attractive to bees.

Recommended Planting Time: Sow seed in mid-Spring, or divide clumps in Spring or Autumn.
Planting Depth: Cover the roots with 2 cm of soil.
Spacing: Plants should be spaced 30 cm apart.
Growing Details: Divide the clumps every 3 years to improve vigour. Prune after summer flowering. To divide clumps, trim the tops, lift them, trim the roots and separate into small groups. Each group can then be replanted. Do not allow the plants to set seed unless you want to save seed as this will decrease the vigour of the clump. In cool temperate areas chives are winter dormant; in subtropical areas cutting back hard during winter will improve vigour.
Harvesting: Cut early in the morning after dew has dried.

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SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered by residents of Norfolk Island, Tasmania and Western Australia. These restrictions are very important as they prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock can be sent to South Australia. No tubestock can be sent to Northern Territory.
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