A patch of purple chive blossoms makes for a beautiful picture, but once the blossoms take over, the production of actual chives shuts down. All the energy is diverted to the flowers and to the process of reproduction and proliferation of the plant. Once the flowers form and drop their seed heads you will have thousands of tiny chive plants EVERYWHERE! (Each blossom has 20-40 individual flowers and each flower has a seed pod with at least 3 tiny black seeds. That is 60-120 seeds per blossom, so you can see how this can become a problem!)
Ideally, you should be proactive and cut the chives down to the ground as soon as the blossoms start to form. This will force the plant to regrow the tender, chive stems you want while preventing thousands of new plants from forming. However, the flowers tend to form quickly and you might not get out there in time or you might want them to bloom and provide color in the garden. In either case, you probably have a ton of flowers that you need to do something with before they drop their seeds and take over!!
(Quick Tip: To have continuous chives AND enjoy the flowers — Trim ½ of the bunch down to the ground while allowing the other half to bloom.)
The chive blossom has a taste similar to the chive stem, so you can use interchangeably in recipes, although the blossom will impart some pink/purple color into your dish. One of the easiest ways to use the blossom is to pull the flowers apart and use them as a garnish or stir them into soups, sauces, potatoes, or eggs towards the end of cooking. You can also mix the flower petals into butter or soft cheese (like goat or cream) for a simple, elegant appetizer spread. They also add a nice burst of color and flavor to your everyday garden salad.
As you can see from the above picture, I have A LOT of flowers right now! I will be trying the chive vinegar and subsequent vinaigrette from the Spruce Eats as well as including chive blossoms in EVERYTHING for the next week or so! What about you? Are you going to be using your blossoms?
Until Next time,
Happy Cooking (& Gardening)!!