Allium oleraceum

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Field garlic
Allium oleraceum - rohulauk Keilas2.jpg
Allium oleraceum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
A. oleraceum
Binomial name
Allium oleraceum
L. 1753 not Des Moul. 1840
Allium oleraceum[2]

Allium oleraceum (field garlic) is a Eurasian species of wild onion. It is a bulbous perennial that grows wild in dry places, reaching 80 centimetres (31 in) 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, it is very rare with A. oleraceum to find flower-heads containing bulbils only.[3] In addition, the spathe in A. oleraceum is in two parts.[3][4]


Allium oleraceum is widespread across most of Europe, with additional populations in Turkey and the Caucasus.[5][1] It is sparingly naturalised in scattered locations in North America.[6][7][8]

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.[9]:902 Erosion of coastal areas leads to a reduction in the available habitat for this species, leading to population declines.[10]

formerly included[1]

Allium oleraceum subsp. girerdii, now called Allium oporinanthum


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. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ 1885 Illustration Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany
  3. ^ a b The Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain p.382.
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 299.
  5. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana
  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.
  9. ^ Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725.
  10. ^ UK Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GRFA) Archived 2008-11-21 at the Wayback Machine.