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Marcus, Joseph A.
Nothoscordum bivalve (L.) Britton
Crow poison, Crowpoison, False garlic
Synonym(s): Allium bivalve, Ornithogalum bivalve
USDA Symbol: NOBI2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
This early spring flower is one of the first to appear on lawns, meadows, or roadsides throughout the state. Often it blooms again in the fall. It grows from a bulb and looks much like the wild onion, but has fewer and larger flowers on long stems and lacks the onion odor. The leaves are all at the base of the plant, about 1/8 inch wide, but often quite long, 4–15 inches. The white flowers have 6 tepals with a green to brown stripe, and 6 stamens. Individual flowers are 1/2 inch across and grow in loose clusters on stalks 8–16 inches tall.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Sep , Oct
, VA Native Habitat: In
lawns, disturbed areas, open slopes, roadsides, prairies, and open woodlands throughout Texas. Found in various soils from sand to clay.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Conditions Comments: Flowers are white with yellow-orange anthers. The plant has the appearance of a wild onion (Allium drummondi), but lacks the onion/garlic smell. It forms large colonies of plants that bloom in early spring. Caution: It is uncertain as to whether or not this plant is toxic. Because of this uncertainty, it should not be eaten.
BenefitWarning: This plant should not be eaten. Some references list this species as poisonous to humans. The jury is still out about its toxicity to crows.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Collect seed in May, June.
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
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
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0781
Collected Feb 13, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0086
Collected Mar. 28, 1991 in Bexar County by Mollie WaltonNPSOT 0749
Collected Apr 3, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-184
Collected 2007-11-04 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2007-10-20
Research By: NPC