Allium vineale

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Wild Garlic
Flowerhead showing bulbils and a few flowers
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. vineale
Binomial name
Allium vineale
  • Allium affine Boiss. & Heldr.
  • Allium arenarium Wahlenb.
  • Allium assimile Halácsy
  • Allium campestre Schleich. ex Steud.
  • Allium compactum Thuill.
  • Allium descendens W.D.J.Koch
  • Allium laxiflorum Tausch
  • Allium littoreum Bertol.
  • Allium margaritaceum var. bulbiferum Batt. & Trab.
  • Allium nitens Sauzé & Maill.
  • Allium purshii G.Don
  • Allium rilaense Panov
  • Allium rotundum Wimm. & Grab.
  • Allium sphaerocephalum Crome ex Schltdl.
  • Allium subvineale Wendelbo
  • Allium vineale var. affine Regel
  • Allium vineale subsp. affine (Regel) K.Richt.
  • Allium vineale var. asperiflorum Regel
  • Allium vineale subsp. asperiflorum (Regel) K.Richt.
  • Allium vineale var. bulbiferum Syme
  • Allium vineale var. capsuliferum Syme
  • Allium vineale subsp. capsuliferum (Syme) K.Richt.
  • Allium vineale subsp. compactum (Thuill.) K.Richt.
  • Allium vineale var. compactum (Thuill.) Lej. & Courtois
  • Allium vineale var. descendens Nyman
  • Allium vineale var. kochii Lange
  • Allium vineale subsp. kochii (Lange) Nyman
  • Allium vineale var. multiflorum Baguet
  • Allium vineale var. nitens (Sauzé & Maill.) Nyman
  • Allium vineale var. purshii (G.Don) Regel
  • Getuonis vinealis (L.) Raf.
  • Porrum capitatum P.Renault
  • Porrum vineale (L.) Schur

Allium vineale (Wild Garlic, Crow Garlic or stag's garlic) is a perennial bulbflower in the genus Allium, native to Europe, northwestern Africa (Algeria, Morocco and the Canary Islands) and southwestern Asia (Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, etc.). The species was introduced in Australia and North America, where it has become an invasive species. The species is widespread across the eastern United States and the lower Mississippi Valley, and has also been recorded in California, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia.[2][3][4][5]


All parts of the plant have a strong garlic odour. The underground bulb is 1-2 cm diameter, with a fibrous outer layer. The main stem grows to 30-120 cm tall, bearing 2-4 leaves and an apical inflorescence 2-5 cm diameter comprising a number of small bulbils and none to a few flowers, subtended by a basal bract. The leaves are slender hollow tubes, 15-60 cm long and 2-4 mm thick, waxy texture, with a groove along the side of the leaf facing the stem. The inflorescence is a globular cluster 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 4.5 mm (0.10 to 0.18 in) 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.[6] Plants with no flowers, only bulbils, are sometimes distinguished as the variety Allium vineale var. compactum, but this character is probably not taxonomically significant.

Uses and problems[edit]

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 garlic itself.[citation needed] 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.[7][8][9] Wild garlic is resistant to herbicides due to the structure of its leaves, being vertical, smooth and waxy. Herbicides do not cling well to it and are therefore not as effective.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Plant List
  2. ^ Flora of North America v 26 p 237, Allium vineale
  3. ^ httpKartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2013. North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C., USA, Allium vineale
  4. ^ GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network), United States Department of Agriculture, Allium vineale
  5. ^ Weeds Australia, Australian Weeds Committee, Allium vineale
  6. ^ "Wild garlic: Allium vineale". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  7. ^ Eric Block, "Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science" (Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010)
  8. ^ James L. Brewster, "Onions and Other Alliums" (Wallingford: CABI Publishing, 2008)
  9. ^ Dilys Davies, "Alliums: The Ornamental Onions" (Portland: Timber Press, 1992)
  10. ^ Wild Garlic & Wild Onion. Clemson University. Retrieved May 12, 2013


  • Block, E. (2010). Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. (Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 978-0-85404-190-9. 
  • Brewster, J. L. (2008). Onions and Other Alliums. (Wallingford: CABI Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84593-399-9. 
  • Davies, D. (1992). Alliums: The Ornamental Onions. (Portland: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-241-2. 

External links[edit]