Allium oleraceum

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Field garlic
Allium oleraceum - rohulauk Keilas2.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. oleraceum
Binomial name
Allium oleraceum
  • Allium complanatum Boreau
  • Allium intermedium G.Don
  • Allium oleraceum var. carinatum Nyman
  • Allium oleraceum var. latifolium W.D.J.Koch
  • Allium oxypetalum G.Don
  • Allium pallens var. pseudooleraceum Seregin
  • Allium parviflorum Thuill.
  • Allium scabrum Gilib.
  • Allium virens Lam.
  • Allium virescens Lam.
  • Cepa oleracea (L.) Bernh.
  • Codonoprasum alpicola Jord. & Fourr.
  • Codonoprasum complanatum (Boreau) Fourr.
  • Codonoprasum intermedium Rchb.
  • Codonoprasum oleraceum (L.) Rchb.
  • Codonoprasum viridiflorum Schur
  • Porrum oleraceum (L.) Moench
  • Raphione oleracea (L.) Salisb.

Allium oleraceum (field garlic) is a bulbous perennial that grows wild in dry places in northern Europe and in parts of North America, reaching 80 cm in height. It reproduces by seed, bulbs and by the production of small bulblets in the flower head (similarly to Allium vineale). Unlike A. vineale however, it is very rare with A. oleraceum to find flower-heads containing bulbils only.[2] In addition, the spathe in A. oleraceum is in two parts.[2][3]


Allium oleraceum is native to temperate Eurasia. In Europe, it is known from every country with the exceptions of Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia, Greece and Albania.[4]

In the United Kingdom, A. oleraceum is found in dry, grassy places, usually steeply sloping and calcareous soils, and on open sunny banks in river floodplains. It favours altitudes of 0-365 m. A. oleraceum is scattered throughout England and very scattered in Wales, Scotland and Ireland (Stace, 1997). Erosion of coastal areas leads to a reduction in the available habitat for this species, leading to population declines.[5]

The species is sparingly naturalised in scattered locations in the United States (Massachusetts, New York State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan) and Canada (Ontario).[6][7][8]


This plant prefers partial or full exposure to sunlight. Allium oleraceum tends to grow in slightly moist, heavy clay-like soil, although it will grow just fine in other soils. This plant spreads quickly, much like a weed, and can be difficult to get rid of.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Plant List
  2. ^ a b The Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain p.382.
  3. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 299.
  4. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Schede di Botanica
  5. ^ UK Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GRFA).
  6. ^ Flora of North America v 26 p 238, Allium oleraceum
  7. ^ BONAP (Biota of North America Program), floristic synthesis, Allium oleraceum
  8. ^ Gleason, H. A. & A.J. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada (ed. 2) i–910. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx.