Allium schoenoprasum L.
Chives are native to temperate regions around the world. Their cultivation dates back 5,000 years, though wild chives are also edible, and may even pop up in your lawn.
Identification: Plants are 8-20" (20-50 cm) tall, composed of clusters of erect, round, hollow leaves, ¹/₃₂-¼" (1-7 mm) thick. Sometimes the tubular leaves are unevenly curled. The clear odor of onions in a crushed leaf is a sure indicator. Flowers are globe- or dome-shaped, composed of many small tubes, pale to deep purple-pink in color. Each flowerhead has up to 30 tiny flowers. Fruits are three-lobed capsules.
Edibility: Chives are a popular culinary herb used for centuries, valued for the mild onion flavor of its leaves. Flowers and roots are also edible. There are other plants with tubular, hollow leaves, but any plant that smells like onion or garlic is edible. The tender shoots taste best. Older woody stalks won’t do you any harm, but they don’t taste as good. (Consumption of large quantities of chives by some animals, especially dogs, may result in poisoning. But I have never seen a dog pay any attention at all to chives.)
Allium schoenoprasum on Montana Plant Life
Allium schoenoprasum on Wikipedia
Allium schoenoprasum on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Allium schoenoprasum on Helium
Allium schoenoprasum on eFloras
Allium schoenoprasum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.
Range: Zones 4-8: