New National Collection of Chives

Plant Heritage is delighted to announce the addition of two new Collections of Allium schoenoprasum and tuberosum to its nation-wide programme of National Plant Collections.
The Collections have been created by Peter Oldfield in Holsworthy, Devon who has sourced 30 cultivars since he started developing the collection seriously two years ago. The project has not been an easy one and Peter has encountered many naming and identity problems within the species.
Allium (chives) is the smallest species of the edible onion and is a perennial plant native to Europe, Asia and North America. Documents record chives being cultivated in Europe over 5,000 years ago and were used extensively by the Romans who believed that chives could relieve the pain of sunburn and sore throats. Romanian gypsies are known for using the herb in fortune telling whilst in medieval times it was thought that hanging a bunch of chives around a house would ward off diseases and evil.
Peter houses his collection in large pots sunk into gravel in deep beds to prevent cross contamination and houses the plants in greenhouses during the winter.
Speaking on the new collections Plant Heritage plant conservation officer, Mercy Morris said; “I am so pleased that Peter has extended his holding of National Plant Collections. It is often those plants that are under-regarded that are in most danger as people tend to assume that they will always be around. With Collection Holders like Peter to conserve them it is more likely that they will be”
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