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Stag's Garlic Allium vineale

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um vin-EE-al
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Field Garlic is a common lawn weed that, while native to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, has naturalized in much of the world including the eastern US.  It can be found in disturbed areas, along roadsides, thickets, meadows, and woodlands spreading by seeds, aerial bulblets, and bulb offsets below ground.  It is a cool season perennial which means that it emerges in the fall and goes dormant after flowering in the early summer.

The scape which appear in the spring through early summer is comprised of a number of small bulblets and a few to no flowers.  The leaves are long, thin, and hollow like chives but look similar enough to grass blades you may not notice them growing in your lawn until you mow and smell that familiar onion odor.  

The leaves, flowers, and bulbs are edible and can be used similarly to chives, although they tend to be a bit tougher. These plants will die back as temperatures increase but will reappear as fall temperatures return.  It grows in a wide variety of soils including heavy clay and prefers partial to full sun.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  It grows aggressively spreading by seeds, aerial bullets, and underground bulb offsets and is considered a noxious weed by the USDA. Hand pull it when the soil is moist, digging out bulblets with a trowel.  Mowing does not kill it but can weaken it and prevent seeding.  Once established it can be difficult to manage with mechanical measures and it is resistant to pre-emergent herbicides.  Bruising the foliage before the application of post-emergence herbicides can help with uptake.

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

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Tags:
#perennial#weed#edible weed#edible flowers#lawn#aggressive#thickets#Noxious Weed List#edible roots#disturbed areas#grass-like#edible leaves#cool season weed#perennial weed#roadside#edible bulbs
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#perennial#weed#edible weed#edible flowers#lawn#aggressive#thickets#Noxious Weed List#edible roots#disturbed areas#grass-like#edible leaves#cool season weed#perennial weed#roadside#edible bulbs
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    vineale
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, N. Africa, Iran
    Distribution:
    US, South America, Australia
    Edibility:
    Leaves, flowers, and bulbs. Use similarly to chives or garlic. 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: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • 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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    3-celled capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    A 2 in.-3 in. inflorescence is covered by a sack-like membrane that is rounded at the bottom and pointed at the top. This membrane splits open to release the bulbets and/or flowers. An umbel of flowers or a combination of bulbets and flowers or even no flowers are produced. Flowers are 1/4 inch and white to purplish with 6 tepals.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Waxy
    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:
    Basal, long, thin, hollow leaves with a circular cross-section. Leaves may be straight or curled. Smells pungently of garlic when crushed. Up to 10 inches long and 3/4 inches wide at the base. Linear and sword-shaped and resemble chives.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Round hairless green scape. The lower stem can have papery remnants of old leaves remain attached. The stem rises high and is naked along its upper half terminating in a cluster of flowers.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    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 poisonous 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
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems