Weed Identification

Australia > WA > Gibson Desert (IBRA) > Crow Garlic

Crow Garlic

Allium vineale

Alternative Name(s): Field Garlic, Wild Garlic.

Family: Alliaceae (often included in Liliaceae).

Form: Herb

Origin: Native of eastern Mediterranean countries.

Flowers/Seedhead: In terminal head. Flowers green, white to pink; seldom seen. Flowers summer but mostly the flowerhead is composed of vegetative small bulbs (bulbils).

Description: Erect herb to 1 m high. Bulbs 2.5 cm wide and to 3 cm long with a white membranous tunic, producing smaller bulbs of two types, white soft-shelled tear-drop shaped bulbs, 817 mm long and light brownish hard-shelled bulbs distinctly flattened on one side, 817 mm long. Leaves grooved on upper surface and to 60 cm long. Seeds black, not common.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by garlic smell when crushed; small bulbs around main bulb; cylindrical stems; hollow, almost cylindrical, leaves; flowers mostly replaced by bulbils.

Dispersal: Mainly reproduces by bulbs and aerial bulbils in the inflorescence; hardshell bulbs may remain dormant for years.

Right: bulbils in terminal clusters
Left: white bulb that forms below ground
Dalgety, NSW

Notes: Autumn and spring germinating perennial. Seedlings grass-like. Serious winter growing weed of cereals and pastures in temperate Australia. It may contaminate milk, meat and grain with an onion odour. Clusters of bulbils shatter readily into individual bulbils and cannot be separated from cereal grain because of their size and shape.


    Noxious Weeds of Australia.W. Parsons and E. Cuthbertson, 1992, pages 8789. Flora of Victoria. N.Walsh and T. Entwisle, (eds), Vol. 2, 1994, page 674.

Developing bulbils
are enclosed in
a sheath

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card H43

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.


Australia > WA > Gibson Desert (IBRA) > Crow Garlic


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