Allium vineale

Field Garlic, wild garlic, wild onion, scallions, crow garlic, false garlic, stag garlic

Description: herbaceous perennial

Place of origin: Europe, temperate Asia, north Africa 

Urban habitat: commonly found in lawns, minimally maintained parks, roadsides, disturbed woodlands, at margins of streams and freshwater wetlands. 

Ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer; food for wildlife.

History: In North America, Allium vineale can be found as far south as Florida and as far north as northern Canada and Alaska. The plant is edible although it has been reported to be poisonous to some mammals when consumed in large quantities.  Historically, its leaves and bulbs have been consumed as a garlic substitute. Allium vineale has also been used widely for medicinal purposes and as an insect repellent. The Cherokee and other Native American tribes used the plant to treat high blood pressure, asthma, coughs, deafness, constipation, and as an insect repellent. The plant has also been used for treatment of tumors, high cholesterol, and digestive and circulatory problems.