Plant A Day – Meadow Garlic

Meadow Garlic Allium canadense

Meadow Garlic
Allium canadense

The Alliums can be a bit confusing because various species have been given various names.  This one is alternately call Meadow Garlic, Wild Garlic and Wild Onion.  Another species, Allium vineale, is called Wild Garlic or Field Garlic.  And yet another species, Allium cernuum, is called Nodding Onion or Nodding Wild Onion.  So, depending on your field guide, you might have an onion or a garlic which is wild or not.  This is a case where the scientific name is better than the common name.

This plant is native to Indiana.  It has the crazy looking flowering bulblets.  Allium vineale , which is not native, also has crazy looking flowering bulblets, but the flowers look completely different.

Another identification difficulty is that the Allium plants have been widely cultivated, which can lead to various looking plants and flowers.

Sometimes the bulblets send out these long spikes

Sometimes the bulblets send out these long spikes

alca3_flower_001alca3_flower_002

Basal leaves are flat and solid

Basal leaves are flat and solid

Whole plant

Whole plant

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