CHIVE. CIVE. North temperate zone. This perennial plant seems to be grown in but few American gardens, although McMahon, 1806, included it in his list of American esculents. Chive plants are included at present among the supplies offered in our best seed catalogs. In European gardens, they are cultivated for the leaves which are used in salads, soups and for flavoring. Chives are much used in Scotch families and are considered next to indispensable in omelettes and hence are much more used on the Continent of Europe, particularly in Catholic countries. In England, chives were described by Gerarde as "a pleasant Sawce and good Potherb;" by Worlidge in 1683; the chive was among seedsmen's supplies in 1726; and it is recorded as formerly in great request but now of little regard, by Bryant in 1783.
The only indication of variety is found in Noisette, who enumerates the civette, the cive d'Angleterre and the cive de Portugal but says these are the same, only modified by soil. The plant is an humble one and is propagated by the bulbs; for, although it produces flowers, these are invariably sterile according to Vilmorin. Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919.
- McMahon, B. Amer. Gard. Cal. 581. 1806.
- Gerarde, J. Herb. 139. 1597.
- Worlidge, J. Syst. Hort. 194. 1683.
- Townsend Seedsman 25. 1726.
- Bryant Fl. Diet. 92. 1783.
- Noisette Man. Jard. 353. 1829.