Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are the smallest species of the onion family, native to Europe, Asia and North America. They are referred to only in the plural, because they grow in clumps rather than as individual plants.

Chives are cultivated both for its culinary uses as well as its ornamental value in Europe since the Middle Ages, although signs of its usage date back to 5000 years ago. The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat. They believed that eating chives would increase blood pressure and acted as a diuretic. Romanian Gypsies have used chives in fortune telling. It was believed that bunches of dried chives hung around a house would ward off disease and evil.

Chives can be dried without much impairment to its taste, giving home growers the opportunity to store large quantities harvested from their own garden. Chives are also rich in vitamins A and C, and contain trace amounts of iron.