Nothoscordum bivalve (L.) Britton
Crowpoison, False Garlic, Crow Poison
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
Synonym(s): Allium bivalve, Ornithogalum bivalve
USDA Symbol: NOBI2
This early spring flower is one of the first to appear on lawns, meadows, or roadsides throughout the state. Often it blooms sporadically in summer and 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , NE , OH , OK , SC , TN , TX , 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.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0749 Collected Apr 3, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0781 Collected Feb 13, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0086 Collected Mar. 28, 1991 in Bexar County by Mollie Walton
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-184 Collected 2007-11-04 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Nothoscordum bivalve in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Nothoscordum bivalve in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Nothoscordum bivalve
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-20
Research By: NPC