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Allium vineale

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Allium vineale
Flowerhead showing bulbils and a few flowers
Flowerhead showing bulbils and a few flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Family: Alliaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. vineale
Binomial name
Allium vineale

Allium vineale (Crow Garlic) is a perennial bulbflower in the genus Allium, native to Europe, north Africa and western Asia. The species is introduced in Australia and North America, where it has become an invasive species.

All parts of the plant have a strong garlic odor. The underground bulb is 1-2 cm diameter, with a fibrous outer layer. The main stem grows to 30-120 cm tall, bearing 2-4 leaves and an apical inflorescence 2-5 cm diameter comprising a number of small bulbils and none to a few flowers, subtended by a basal bract. The leaves are slender hollow tubular, 15-60 cm long and 2-4 mm thick, waxy textured, with a groove along the side of the leaf facing the stem. The flowers are 2-5 mm long, with six petals varying in colour from pink to red or greenish-white. It flowers in the summer, June to August in northern Europe. Plants with no flowers, only bulbils, are sometimes distinguished as the variety Allium vineale var. compactum, but this character is probably not taxonomically significant.

[edit] Uses and problems

Crow Garlic can be used as a substitute for garlic. It imparts a garlic-like flavour and odor on dairy and beef products when grazed by livestock. It is sometimes considered a weed as grain products may become tainted with a garlic odor or flavour in the presence of aerial bulblets at the time of harvest. Wild garlics is resistant to herbicides due to the structure of its leaves, being vertical, smooth and waxy. Herbicides do not cling well to it and are therefore not as effective.

[edit] See also

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