The Secret Lives of Chives

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Most people would probably encounter no difficulty identifying this object: 

A bucket of chives

Right. It’s an old paint bucket filled with chives.

But, HAH! It’s also bucket of interesting information. I learned some new things about chives this morning.

For instance, I did not know that chive flowers have a very nice aroma. I sniffed them to see if they smelled like anything at all – faintly expecting some chive-like pungency. Wrong! They have a somewhat faint but distinct fragrance. I’d say it’s somewhere between rose and jasmine, with maybe a little frangipani mingling in. It would make an alluring perfume. Here are the flowers of the chive: 

Chive flowers

It’s interesting that a seed pod has already formed in the centre of each flower. A few buds in the middle of the bunch have not yet opened. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see that a tiny spider has spun its web across the bunch of flowers. I did not even see this until I began to work on the photo with Photoshop.

When the petals have all fallen away the seed pods dry and crack open. Here you can see the seeds inside:

Chive seed pods

I found a seed pod that looked almost dry and opened it. Here you can see the opened pod and a single seed. Though it appears that each pod should have three seeds – according to the shape of the pods – most of them had only one or two:

A chive seed pod opened showing the black seeds

The final surprise came when I put my large nose down close to the pod. I was not expecting the obvious. It smelled strongly of . . . CHIVES!

The next time I go to my garden to cut a bunch of chives for my baked potato or my scrambled eggs, I’m going to have a new appreciation for the stinky little stalks.

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