Allium vineale (Wild Onion)
This onion and garlic relative makes a great addition to a variety of wild dishes. We appreciate Allium vineale for its whimsical appearances and strong flavor, but keep it from our nitrogen fixing plants.
Look for patches of wiry, hollow green stems with a strong garlicky smell growing in your lawn, in fields and agricultural land, and in disturbed areas. Pink to greenish and even white flowers bloom in the summer months.
Common Name: Wild onion, wild garlic, onion grass, field garlic, crow garlic
Scientific Name: Allium vineale
Plant Family: Amaryllidaceae (Onion Family)
Edible Parts: flowers, leaves, roots/bulbs;
leaves of this plant can reach 3 ft tall and only appear in winter and early spring; to collect the bulbs, simply grasp the bundle of leaves, tug, and shake off the excess dirt!
Medicinal Uses: anti-asthmatic, antioxidant properties, blood purifier, carminative, cathartic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, vasodilator (reduces blood pressure)
Meaning of Scientific Name: Allium - Latin for ‘garlic’ ; vineale - ‘of the vineyard’ ; “the garlic that grows in vineyards”
Designing with this Plant
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-8
Forest garden layer: herbaceous
- Plants for a Future Database - Allium vineale - L.
- Spencer, Edwin Rollin. All about weeds. Dover Publications, 1974.
- Native American Ethnobotany Database
- Stajner, D, et al. “Exploring Allium Species as a Source of Potential Medicinal Agents.” Phytotherapy Research: PTR, vol. 20, no. 7, July 2006, pp. 581-584.
- MUSSELMAN, L. J. (2017). QUICK GUIDE TO WILD EDIBLE PLANTS: easy to pick, easy to prepare. S.l.: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS.