Collect And Process Chive Flowers

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:01 pm

They not only provide a flavorful enrichment but also spoil the eye: chive blossoms decorate a wide variety of dishes and refine the dishes with a mild spicy note. If you missed the chive harvest, let the blossoms melt in your mouth instead.


The most important facts in brief
Chive flowers are not poisonous. They taste less intense than the leaves and have a slightly sweet note.
The inflorescences can be used in many ways. They can be pickled in vinegar or salt or made into herb butter and oil.
Collected chive flowers in the fresh state in the morning, when the content of aromatic substances is the highest.

Can you eat chive blossoms?


Collect And Process Chive Flowers

Chives grow as a herbaceous plant from whose underground rhizome spring numerous tubular leaves. These are harvested and used as a kitchen spice. Allium schoenoprasum flowers between May and August. In the inflorescences 30 to 50 single flowers sit close together. The flower stalk is reminiscent of a leaf petal in shape, but has a firmer consistency and clearly rises above the leaf head. Chive flowers are not poisonous, but edible. The leaves can also be eaten during the flowering period.

This is what chives taste like when they are in bloom:

  • Flower stalks firm and woody with a bitter taste
  • Chive flowers are slightly pungent with subtle sweetness
  • Leaves become increasingly bitter with age
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Where chives grow

Chives are found in cool climate regions. The main European distribution area is across Fennoscandia, although the plant also grows wild in the Central European mountains. Here, the popular kitchen spice specializes in wet habitats. The plant shares biotopes with typical wetland herbaceous plants such as horsetail or brook carnationwort. On boggy substrates, chives readily develop into the dominant plant species.

Use chive flowers: Recipes

Word has spread that the pink blossoms are edible. Many online retailers offer the option of buying chive blossoms that are still closed. This keeps them fresh until they are delivered. Eating chive blossoms is something for gourmets:

Chive flower butter250 g butter, 20 chive blossoms, 2 garlic cloves, salt and pepperMelt the butter, squeeze the garlic and mix with the flowers, season and chill.
Chive flower oil500 ml sunflower oil, 8 chive flowers, rosemary, parsley, thymePour oil over flowers and herbs and infuse for three weeks
Caramelized chive flowersOlive oil, chive blossoms of your choice, powdered sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepperFry the flowers in olive oil, sprinkle with powdered sugar and deglaze with balsamic vinegar, season to taste.

Salt with chive flowers
Grind any amount of chive blossoms with coarse-grained salt, or grind the mixture with a hand blender and food processor. A mildly aromatic herbal salt with a greenish color results from a quantity of about ten blossoms to two tablespoons of salt. The flavor and color will be more intense with more flower heads. Spread the salt on a baking tray covered with baking paper and let it dry in the oven at the lowest setting. To avoid the formation of lumps, you should regularly loosen the salt with a fork.

Pickling in vinegar
For homemade vinegar with a spicy note, you will need about 20 chive blossoms and 250 milliliters of mild white wine vinegar. Put the flowers in a screw-top jar and pour the vinegar over them. Place the sealed jar in a cool, dark place for a week. Swirl the container daily so that all the flowers are covered by the vinegar. After seven days, you can filter the flowers from the purple vinegar and bottle it.

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The vinegar tastes quite sharp and can be used as a salad dressing. Onions are then no longer necessary.

How to collect chives flowers


After harvesting, the bouquet should be thoroughly shaken out to leave insects in the garden

When your chives are in bloom in the garden, you can cut the flower stalks at the base. Early in the morning is the ideal time to collect, as the flowers are then rich in essential oils and nectar. At the same time, prevent too many flower-visiting insects from entering the kitchen with the harvest, as they are usually only active when the sun is shining and temperatures are warm. Shake the harvest vigorously so that hidden insects are transported out of the flowers.

Washing destroys the delicate petals, so the flavors dissipate more quickly. Therefore, collect only perfect flowers that you do not need to wash.

Frequently asked questions

Can chive flower buds be eaten?

The flower buds are used as false capers. Pickled in a boiled decoction of vinegar and various herbs, the buds take on an intense aroma. They refine hearty dishes and go well with cheese, pasta or salad.

Which varieties of chives develop edible flowers?

Chive varieties differ mainly in the thickness of the tubular leaves and their aroma. All varieties of the species Allium schoenoprasum are called chives. While the original species blooms pink, edible cultivars develop variable hues:

  • Forescate: intense bright pink.
  • Profusion: sterile and pink-purple flowers retain their delicate flavor for a particularly long time
  • Elbe: white flowering variety
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When can I harvest leaves and flowers from chives?

At the beginning of the growing season, chives need nutrients to develop leaves for photosynthesis. During this time, the leaves taste best because they contain many essential oils and vitamins. When the plant comes to flower, it puts all its energy into flower growth. These should be harvested shortly after blooming, as they also lose flavor as they age. Sterile varieties retain their flowering glory longer, because the energy is not needed for seed formation. Therefore, such chive flowers taste mild throughout the flowering period.

Why should I cut off chive flowers in time?

If you break out or cut off emerging flower shoots in time, the plant saves energy by not developing flowers. This keeps the leaves fresh longer and increases the harvest period. The tubular leaves become increasingly woody during flower development.

What kind of soil do chives need?

In general, chives prefer a loose, nutrient-rich soil that provides moist conditions. Allium schoenoprasum is divided into two subspecies that grow in different habitats. While the subspecies ‘sibiricum’ specializes in moist soils at alpine altitudes, the subspecies ‘schoenoprasum’ thrives on muddy subsoils with fine soil in lowlands.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts. Jones James

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