Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic Plant Information

Wild Garlic grows in the following 38 states:

Alaska, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin, Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington

Allium vineale (wild garlic, crow garlic or stag's garlic) is a perennial, bulb-forming species of wild onions, native to Europe, northwestern Africa and the Middle East. The species was introduced in Australia and North America, where it has become a noxious weed.

All parts of the plant have a strong garlic odour. The underground bulb is 1-2cm diameter, with a fibrous outer layer. The main stem grows to 30-120cm tall, bearing 2-4 leaves and an apical inflorescence 2-5cm diameter comprising a number of small bulbils and none to a few flowers, subtended by a basal bract. The leaves are slender hollow tubes, 15-60cm long and 2-4mm thick, waxy texture, with a groove along the side of the leaf facing the stem. The inflorescence is a tight umbel surrounded by a membranous bract in bud which withers when the flowers open. Each individual flower is stalked and has a pinkish-green perianth 2.5 to 4.5mm (0.10 to 0.18in) long. There are six tepals, six stamens and a pistil formed from three fused carpels. Mixed with the flowers are several of yellowish-brown bulbils. The fruit is a capsule but the seeds seldom set and propagation usually takes place when the bulbils are knocked off and grow into new plants. Plants with no flowers, only bulbils, are sometimes distinguished as the variety Allium vineale var. compactum, but this character is probably not taxonomically significant.
While Allium vineale has been suggested as a substitute for garlic, there is some difference of opinion as to whether there is an unpleasant aftertaste compared to that of common garlic (A. sativum). It imparts a garlic-like flavour and odour on dairy and beef products when grazed by livestock. It is considered a pestilential invasive weed, as grain products may become tainted with a garlic odour or flavour in the presence of aerial bulblets at the time of harvest. Wild garlic is resistant to herbicides, which cannot cling well to the vertical, smooth and waxy structure of its leaves.

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