2014—Kow Choi

For several years, I’ve grown chives in a large strawberry pot along with other herbs. The chives come back year after year without my having to replant them. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed them blooming in the strawberry pot. I’m sure they have but I guess I didn’t pay attention. This year, when the buds opened, they were white, not the purple that I expected them to be. Whenever I’ve grown chives in past years, the flowers were purple, in kind of a globe shape. These white flowers atop tall stalks are very different from that.

After taking some shots of the blooms, one a macro taken at 4PM in the bright sun, and one with the 80-400 in late morning sun, I wondered about the white flowers and why they looked different from other chives I’ve grown. It turns out that what I planted a few years ago were Chinese chives known as kow choi, also called garlic chives. They are not regular chives but they are both in the allium family. How could I not have noticed that these chives were different: a large flat tube instead of a small round one; floppy leaves, not really upright; and a pronounced garlicky flavor, not an oniony flavor? So much for having a discretionary palate. It’s no wonder my culinary skills are marginal!

Focal Length 105mm, ISO 1000, f/45, 1/100s

Day 237-3

Focal Length 400mm, ISO 500, f/13, 1/320s

Day 237-9-2

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