Allium vineale L.
Field garlic, wild garlic, crow garlic
Field garlic, native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, was introduced in Australia and North America, where it has become an invasive species in lawns, pastures, and meadows. Livestock owners don't like them in part because the strongly garlic-flavored bulbs flavor the milk and meat of grazing livestock.
Identification: Like other members of the Allium (loosely, onion) family, field garlic grows from bulbs, which are ⅜-¾″ (1-2 cm) in diameter. The main stem is 12-47″ (30-120 cm) tall, with 2-4 tubular, hollow leaves that are 1/16-⅛″ (2-4 mm) thick. The flowerhead is ¾-1¾″ (2-5 cm) in diameter, and rather strange-looking. It consists a rounded cluster of tiny bulbs called bulbils—on close examination, the cluster is composed of tiny, outward-pointing bulbs. The cluster is pink or purple in color. Above this cluster may be several small flowers, 1/16-⅛″ (2-5 mm) long, each with six petals, varying from pink to red or greenish-white.
Edibility: Field garlic bulbs, about ½″ (1.3 cm) in diameter, taste like strong garlic. Used in modest quantities, they make a delicious addition to dishes that benefit from garlic. Or, you can pickle them.
Allium vineale description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 4-9: