Seed Heads #002

by Culti-Vate

1 & 2. Allium TuberosumGarlic Chive or Chinese Chivea herbaceous perennial that can be propagated from seed (sow asap!), generally hardy but may need cover and protection during winter months. This Allium gets its common name because of its strong garlic/onion scent from the leaves and also the delicate star shaped white flowers. The leaves & the stalks are edible and often used to flavour food in place of onion or garlic as they give a more delicate, subtle flavour. Garlic Chives are often used in oriental cooking, in Japanese the name for them is ‘nira’ and in chinese ‘kow choi’, and often used to flavour dumplings (a delicious crab dumpling recipe with garlic chives). As for the seed heads, once dried they become elegant & delicate, with each tall stem topped with umbels on which each seed clings inside its little case. So many were lost just handling the stems, so we half expect to see little garlic chives sprouting through the brick in the studio at some point! These have to be one of our favourite looking dried herbs.
3, 4 & 5. Allium schoenoprasum or Chives – the smallest species of the edible onions. Another herbaceous perennial with a strong onion scent to it, it has thin leafless stems with umbels of star shaped flowers on. Chive leaves are often used in cooking to add milder onion flavours to dishes, a lovely scone recipe using chives! Fresh flowers, whole or individual buds, can be scattered to add a delicate flavour to a finished salad.