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Allium canadense is often confused with:
Allium cuthbertii Form in bloom
Allium vineale Allium vineale
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium Alllium
Achillea millefolium Achillea millefolium
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Allium canadense has some common insect problems:
Slugs and Snails Found on Flowers and Foliage

Meadow Garlic Allium canadense

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um ka-na-DEN-see
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Wild Onion is a bulbous perennial that is native to North Carolina and much of the United States. Wild Onions form grass-like clumps of leaves topped with rounded clusters of star-shaped pink or white flowers that bloom from late spring into summer. The plant produces a strong, onion-like odor when leaves are crushed or mowed. Wild onion is weedy in disturbed areas and can be found in meadows, thickets, fields, forests, and lawns.

Wild Onion grows about 18 in. tall and can spread quite freely when well sited. Both leaves and flowers have a delicious mild flavor while the bulb is crisp and mild with a pleasant flavor that is a leek or garlic substitute, according to taste. The plant spreads by bulb offsets and aerial bulblets.

Even though the plant is edible, there are better and less weedy plants to grow in the vegetable garden. Do not harvest plants in areas that herbicides have been used.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Generally free of pests and disease. It is considered a noxious weed in several states.

VIDEO

Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

 

More information on Allium.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#white#poisonous#perennial#white flowers#pink flowers#weedy#fragrant leaves#mass planting#wild turkeys#summer flowers#deer resistant#spring interest#wildflower garden#edible#border front#native weed#perennial weed#cool season vegetable#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#white#poisonous#perennial#white flowers#pink flowers#weedy#fragrant leaves#mass planting#wild turkeys#summer flowers#deer resistant#spring interest#wildflower garden#edible#border front#native weed#perennial weed#cool season vegetable#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    canadense
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Traditional medicinal uses include using a crushed bulb to treat insect bites and stings and using the bulb for a tea to treat cough and vomiting.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, Eastern and Central United States
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Bulbs may be eaten by wild turkeys.
    Edibility:
    Use the same as domestic onions, for seasoning, or raw in salads. Bulbs can be used raw, boiled, pickled, or for seasoning. Flowers and stems are also edible. However, the plant also has poisonous characteristics as noted in the "Poisonous to Humans" section of this record. Toxicity can depend on the age of the person or animal, the age of the plant, the part of the plant ingested, how much is ingested, whether the person or animal has sensitivities or allergies, whether it's eaten raw or cooked, and so forth. Consult with a medical professional for further details.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Seed capsules contain several small dark seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Each flowering stalk terminates in an inflorescence that has a sack-like covering that splits open and withers away to reveal an umbel of 6 to 12 small 1/2inch pedicellate flowers or sessile bulblets or a combination of each. The flowers are a dome-like cluster of star-shaped pink or whitish flowers on a naked flower stalk. The bulblets are about ΒΌ inch long, ovoid in shape, and light green to pinkish-red. Wild Garlic is especially likely to flower or have reddish bulblets in a sunny situation.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    6-12 inch long green basal leaves are linear, flat and semi-upright. When young, leaves are often confused with grass. Each leaf has a poorly defined keel along its midvein and smooth margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Flowering stalks emerge from the ground that are about the same height as the leaves, or slightly higher. These stalks are terete (round in cross-section), rather than flat, and they are held stiffly erect.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Only harvest plants with the distinct odor of onions. Can cause low toxicity in humans but has the potential to be poisionous to livestock if consumed excessively. Symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. (Poison parts: All parts; bulbs, bulblets, flowers, and stems)
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sulfides
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems