En EspaÑol
Allium canadense (Meadow garlic) | NPIN
Share

NPIN: Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
Name:    
Family:    
See a list of all Plants





Allium canadense (Meadow garlic)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Allium canadense

Allium canadense L.

Meadow garlic, Wild garlic, Wild onion

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: ALCA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Meadow garlic or wild garlic’s sparse cluster of grass-like leaves and its 8-12 in. flowering stalk grow from a bulb. From between narrow, grass-like leaves, which originate near its base, rises a stem topped by a dome-like cluster of star-shaped, pink or whitish flowers; plant has strong, onion-like odor.

This native perennial has a brown, fibrous skin on an edible bulb that tastes like onion.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Notes: 8-12 inches tall.
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul

Distribution

USA: 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
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.B. to SD, s. to n. FL & TX
Native Habitat: Open woods; prairies

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moderately rich, neutral soils.
Conditions Comments: Some Allium species can become weedy in warmer climates. Tolerates all conditions well; very hearty plant. Make sure soil is well-drained, plants will rot in standing water. Generally free of pests and disease, although some people have had problems with slugs.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Bulbs and leaves are eaten by wild turkeys.
Use Food: There are many bulb forming plants that resemble wild onions, some are toxic. Only harvest plants with the distinct odor of onions. The chopped green leaves can be used like chives and the bulbs are cooked as any other onions.
Use Medicinal: Crushed bulbs applied to insect stings. Bulbs eaten raw for scurvy. Tea of bulbs to control coughs and vomiting. Infusion of bulb used as eyewash and ear and for ear infections. Bruised onion to treat stings of bees and wasps.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Value to Beneficial Insects

Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Best would be to salvage, or seed out in nursery bed and divide small bulbs several years later.
Seed Collection: Blooming in early spring, seeds ready to harvest soon after.
Seed Treatment: Easily propagated by untreated seed sown in warm location in late winter.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible Native Plants for a Small Austin Garden
March 15, 2010
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants (or Mrs. or Miss, whomever is answering this go'round)! First off, thank you so much for all the help you have given me in the past. Secondly, the company my husband works ...
view the full question and answer

Edible Plants for North Georgia
January 10, 2010
We are planning a forest food garden in the hollers of the N GA Mountains. Which edible fruit, nut, berry, herb and creepers would be best for this reddish, clay-like soil? The food garden is in...
view the full question and answer

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 610 - Edible wild plants of the prairie : an ethnobotanical guide (1987) Kindscher, K.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Allium canadense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Allium canadense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Allium canadense

Metadata

Record Modified: 2012-12-06
Research By: NPC, MWJ

Go back

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center