False garlic [Nothoscordum
inodorum (Aiton) Nicholson][Bayer code: none][CDFA list: B] Photographs
Map of Distribution
gracile (Aiton) Stearn, Nothoscordum
fragrans (Vent.) Kunth, Nothoscordum borbonicum Kunth,
Allium gracile Aiton, Allium fragrans Vent., onion
weed, grace garlic
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.
to mature leaves, but much smaller.
(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.
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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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.
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.
CHARACTERISTICS:Leaves typically die back before flowering.
landscaped areas, gardens.
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).
by seed and underground
bulblets. Seed is highly viable and germinates readily on
poor soils. Bulblets separate from the parent bulb by contractile
FAVORING/DISCOURAGING SURVIVAL:Underground bulblets easily dislodge from the parent
bulb when plants are manually removed.
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
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.
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