Weed Description: A perennial
from bulblets that emits a strong garlic or onion smell when crushed. Primarily a
weed of small grains, turfgrass and pastures. Wild garlic imparts a garlic-like
flavor and odor on dairy and beef products when grazed. Additionally, small grains
may become tainted with a garlic-like odor and/or flavor due to the presence of
aerial bulblets at the time of harvest. Wild garlic is found throughout the eastern and central
those of a grass, but have hollow, round leaves.
Leaves are round, hollow, arising from a bulb, 6-24 inches long, 2-10 mm wide. All leaves have
a garlic-like or onion scent.
Stems: Flowering stems are the
only stems that occur. These are slender, solid, waxy, unbranched, and 1-3 feet
are produced at the top of
the flowering stems. Flowers are greenish-white, small, and on short stems above the
globe of aerial bulblets. Aerial bulblets are ovoid, often wholly or partially
replace the flowers, and are usually tipped by a long, fragile slender green leaf.
Fruit: The fruit is an egg-shaped 3-parted capsule.
Roots: Round to egg-shaped
bulbs with a papery outer covering. Smaller bulblets may form at the base of the
bulbs, and fibrous roots are also attached at the bases of the bulbs.
Round hollow leaves and garlic-like odor. Wild garlic is often confused with wild
onion (Allium canadense), but the two may be easily distinguished after a closer
examination of the leaf cross section. The leaves of wild garlic are hollow and
round, while those of wild onion are more flat and 'solid'. Wild garlic is also
similar to Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum
umbellatum), however this weed lacks the garlic-like odor of wild garlic and also has
distinctive white midveins that run the length of the leaf when mature. Starch Grapehyacinth (Muscari racemosum) is
also similar in appearance and growth habit, but lacks the garlic-like odor as well.