False garlic [Nothoscordum inodorum (Aiton) Nicholson][Bayer code: none][CDFA list: B] Photographs Map of Distribution

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SYNONYMS:Nothoscordum gracile (Aiton) Stearn, Nothoscordum fragrans (Vent.) Kunth, Nothoscordum borbonicum Kunth, Allium gracile Aiton, Allium fragrans Vent., onion weed, grace garlic

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:Hardy noxious bulbous perennial with grass-like leaves. Closely related to the onions (Allium species), but plant parts lack an onion or garlic odor when crushed. False garlic is extremely prolific, invasive, and difficult to eradicate. Introduced as a garden plant from South America.

SEEDLINGS:Leaves similar to mature leaves, but much smaller.

MATURE PLANT:Scapes (flowering stems) typically 20-45 cm tall. Leaves 2-several, basal, linear, flat, 25-30 cm long, 0.4-1 cm wide, glabrous, sheathing at the base for < 1/10 of the scape, die back from the tip before flowers mature.

ROOTS and UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES:Bulbs solitary, ~ 1.5 cm long, with brownish membranous outer coats, produce many small bulblets (~ 0.6 cm long) on short stalks from the base of the parent bulb. Short fibrous roots grow from the base of the main bulb, often associate with mycorrhiza.

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FLOWERS:May-June. Umbels with 8-15 flowers, < 4 cm diameter. Bract beneath umbel 2-lobed, lobes separate to near the base, membranous, sheathing at the base, < 1/2 the length of the pedicels, persistent. Flowers bell-shaped, 8-15 mm long, pleasantly fragrant, on unequal pedicels ~ 2-4 cm long. Petals 6, fused at the base forming a short tube, +/- rounded at the tips, white with greenish bases and reddish to brown midveins on outer surfaces. Stamens 6.

FRUITS and SEEDS:Capsules 3-chambered, ovoid, broadest near the apex, 6-8(10) mm long. Seeds numerous, black, teardrop-shaped, angled, 2-4 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, minutely wrinkled.

POSTSENESCENCE CHARACTERISTICS:Leaves typically die back before flowering.

HABITAT:Disturbed sites, landscaped areas, gardens.

DISTRIBUTION:San Francisco Bay region, Central Valley, Central Coast, low-lying areas of the South Coast Ranges and southern North Coast Ranges, South Coast. To 100 m (330 ft).

PROPAGATION/PHENOLOGY:Reproduces by seed and underground bulblets. Seed is highly viable and germinates readily on poor soils. Bulblets separate from the parent bulb by contractile roots.

MANAGEMENT FAVORING/DISCOURAGING SURVIVAL:Underground bulblets easily dislodge from the parent bulb when plants are manually removed.

SIMILAR SPECIES:Unlike false garlic, panicled onion and wild garlic have an onion or garlic odor when plant parts are crushed, and petals are separate at the base. In addition, wild garlic produces aerial bulbils.

CONTROL METHODS: Prevention and control: These species generally impart an undesirable garlic or onion type flavor to contaminated food products including cereal grains, milk, meat, eggs, and poultry. These species reproduce by seed, underground bulblets, and aerial bulbils in the case of Allium vineale. Tillage may reduce seed production, but new plants rapidly emerge from underground bulbs. Repeated tillage may eventually reduce bulb reserves and result in plants with less vigor. At low densities, plants may be carefully removed by hand-pulling. Competitive crops that shade these species may also improve control. Effective herbicides include 2,4-D, triclopyr and dicamba.

Ferguson, G. P., G. E. Coats, G. B. Wilson and D. R. Shaw. 1992. Postemergence control of wild garlic (Allium vineale) in turfgrass. Weed Technology 6(1): 144-148.
Fitzsimmons, J. P. and L. C. Burrill. 1993. Wild Garlic (Allium vineale L.). Pacific Northwest Extension Bulletin 444. 2 pp.
Gast, R. E., R. A. Liebl, and F. W. Slife. 1990. Wild garlic (Allium vineale) control with thifensulfuron and DPX-L5300. Weed Technology 4(3): 592-597.
Leys, A. R. and F. W. Slife 1988. Absorption and translocation of carbon-14 chlorsulfuron and carbon-14 metsulfuron in wild garlic (Allium vineale). Weed Science 36(1): 1-4.
Leys, A. R. and F. W. Slife 1987. Comparison of chlorsulfuron and metsulfuron for control of Allium vineale L. Weed Research 27(1): 35-42.
Leys, A. and F. W. Slife 1986. The response of wild garlic (Allium vineale) to the timing of spray applications of chlorsulfuron. Weed Science 34(5): 718-723.
Khodayari, K., R. E. Frans, et al. 1985. Evaluation of chlorsulfuron in wheat (Triticum aestivum cultivar Forest) and in a wheat-soybean (Glycine max) double-cropping system. Weed Science 33(5): 746-749.
Peske, S. T. and A. H. Boyd 1985. Separation of wild garlic (Allium vineale) from wheat with a gravity table. Seed Science and Technology 13(1): 129-138.

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