Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Garlic, Field Garlic
Allium vineale

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: vineale (vin-AH-lee) (Info)

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Green
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By CaptMicha
Thumbnail #1 of Allium vineale by CaptMicha

By PurplePansies
Thumbnail #2 of Allium vineale by PurplePansies

By CaptMicha
Thumbnail #3 of Allium vineale by CaptMicha

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Thumbnail #4 of Allium vineale by creekwalker

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Thumbnail #6 of Allium vineale by creekwalker

By Jazz_HR
Thumbnail #7 of Allium vineale by Jazz_HR


2 positives
2 neutrals
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is one of the most pestilential of weeds. It's an invasive exotic pest, native to Europe, and frequently confused with our native A. canadense, which is much less often encountered. (A. canadense has flat leaves, A. vineale has round hollow leaves.) The flowering stems generally produce bulbils instead of flowers.

This species is summer dormant, putting up active leaves in both spring and fall. It often enters gardens hitchhiking on the root balls of nursery stock.

This is one of the most difficult of weeds to control, much less eradicate. Its waxy leaves repel water and resist most herbicides, and its hardshell bulblets can lie dormant five years or more. Attempts to dig it up just spread dormant hardshell bulblets around.

There are many other fine garden alliums without this one's drawbacks. I don't know why anyone would cultivate it.

Negative onionqueen On Mar 13, 2008, onionqueen wrote:

over $1000 invested in removal
All for nothing
Chokes out everything but trees
crosses streets and every barrier you put up.
hoeing propagates it
composting propagates it
(only heat kills)

Just dug it out again, a mountainous pick-up load of infection. The millions of microscopic bulblets in the soil will come back as a carpet with the first drop of rain. Protect from rain perfectly for 5 yr before bulblets in soil no longer viable. A drop of rain in less than 5 yr, you only cultivated it on that parcel--comes back double every year.

It has been 16 yr of this that I know of, removing every year to no avail. A sink hole for your time. Death to your garden and your neighbors' gardens.

I wish I had something easy and delicate like Kudzu to battle instead.

Anybody who wants to start this one will leave this legacy to anyone who lives there forever.

I have never hated anyone enough to give them a start of this plant. Nobody around here is stupid enough to take it, they've got plenty of their own!

This is not slander. USDA invasive pest Florida and California.

Negative Jazz_HR On Mar 13, 2008, Jazz_HR from Ivanić-Grad
Croatia (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although it looks interesting in photo, in reality its not impresive. I wont grow it again.

Negative Terry On Feb 18, 2008, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A definite weed, and very invasive; listed as a noxious weed as close as Arkansas, as well as California and Hawaii. I'm surprised it isn't listed as problematic for other states.

Hand-digging the clumps is difficult because you inevitably leave behind some bulbs, which will come back and multiply with a vengeance. Chemical control requires precise timing and perseverance (and a willingness to use chemicals, which works for some gardeners, not for others.)

Positive caitrine On Jun 7, 2007, caitrine from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

I've allowed it to grow in my garden since supposedly it does well as a companion plant to reduce unwanted pests. I'm also a fan of garlic so I like having its wild cousin around. If there's a spot where I don't want it, it's really easy to yank out of the ground (ie, easier than your usual weed pulling efforts).

Neutral winter_unfazed On Dec 28, 2004, winter_unfazed from Rural Webster County, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Not the same species as Northwestern onions, Prairie onions, or Ramps. This is a very invasive weed. It grows rapidly twice a year, once in October / November and again in February/March. Long thin tufts and tiny bulbs are cooked with eggs and are good in tacos as well.. The tufts can also be rubbed on one's neck to deter blackflies, or stuffed in corners to deter house pests. lf the bulbs are planted somewhere and not mown, they will have flowers in June like those of domestic onions.

Positive WUVIE On Dec 27, 2004, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

A ritual in Oklahoma often celebrated with "Wild Onion and Egg" dinners.

Easy to grow and easy to dig, very plentiful and a frequent visitor at farmer's markets.

While not for the uptight gardener, the Wild Onion is a treat for those such as myself who live in the country and have fond memories which include the Wild Onion. What fun to see the onions pop up to remind us that planting time is closer than we think.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 12, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

They will grow in sunny or shady conditions, too. They aren't very picky about soil conditions. When they flower, the color can range from white to pink.

Negative melody On Jun 13, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Invasive and nearly impossible to get rid of. Wild onions or wild garlic, as it's sometimes called are perinnials.

They can ruin grain fields and are hated by dairy farmers, as the milk and butter can take on the flavor if livestock eats very many of them.

One of the first green things to sprout in early Spring, the only thing I can say positive about them is that when you smell them after mowing your lawn for the first time, you know that warmer weather is quickly approaching.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ben Lomond, California
Denver, Colorado
Monroe, Georgia
Benton, Kentucky
Clermont, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky (2 reports)
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Ellicott City, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Cole Camp, Missouri
Mountain Grove, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Dayton, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Knoxville, Tennessee
De Leon, Texas
Etoile, Texas
Houston, Texas
Seattle, Washington

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