FEW-FLOWERED GARLIC

Allium paradoxum

Onion & Garlic Family [Alliaceae]

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8white
 
flower
flower8cream
 
inner
inner8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZbell
 
stem
stem8triangular
 
stem
stem8hollow
 
smell
smell8garlic
garlic

18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Grows up to 40cm high. Long, linear grass-like leaves both longer and narrow than those of Ramsons.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Flowers white to cream-coloured, and very few in number per plant, between 1 and 5 in number, often just one.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Flowers on longish very-thin stalks emerging from the tips of green to yellow bulbils.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
There are five petals (actually tepals) of the flower with stamens hidden within. Each plant has a small number (3-8?) of lemon-shaped yellow/green bulbils at the top of a triangular stem


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Two white, papery sheaths once enveloped the developing bulbils until they broke out.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Flowers on longish, narrow stalks emerging from the tips of the bulbils.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Flowers 10-12mm long. Stamens shorter than tepals and hiding within.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Root-leaves are 5-25mm wide, strongly keeled (V-shaped for rigidity) near the roots but scarcely keeled after mid-way.


18th April 2014, woods, Fernhurst, Surrey. Photo: © Tony Lawrence
Flowering stem hollow and triangular in cross section.


Can be mis-identified as : Three-Cornered Garlic (Allium triquetrum) which also has a stem that is triangular in cross-section and is a similar height, but the flowers are far more numerous and sturdier (rather than flimsy) and have a green stripe down the centre of each petal. The leaves are also narrower than those of Few-flowered Garlic.

Some similarities to : Crow Garlic (Allium vineale) but that has one very-narrow leaf (rather than broadish and grass-like) and at 1.2m high is much taller on a round (rather than triangular) stem and has brown/purplish bulbils and pink to reddish flowers which have stamens longer than the petals and which therefore poke out from the top of the flower.

Slight resemblance to : Field Garlic (Allium oleraceum) which at 80cm is shorter that Crow Garlic but longer than Few-flowered Garlic. Field Garlic has similar-coloured flowers and the stamens are shorter than the flowers (as they are in Few-flowered Garlic) but like Crow Garlic has round stems rather than triangular.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

It grows from a small bulb. It is a rampant invasive weed carpeting the ground in some parts of the UK and is thus listed on Schedule 9 of the  Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) as being illegal to plant in the wild. It is native to the mountain regions of the Caucasus and Iran. In the UK it is naturalised in some coniferous plantations and in woods, grassy places, rough ground and waysides.

Just like Wild Garlic (aka Ramsons, Allium ursinum) a garlic-like odour emanates from large groupings such as are want to gather near riversides or on canal-banks. There is only one (long and narrow) leaf per plant; count the leaves and you know the number of plants. Just like Ramsons it is edible and can be eaten raw or in cooked dishes such as pesto.

It is found mainly in the East of the UK, mostly around dense centres of population. There is a similar, but not identical, cultivated version that is grown in gardens, but that is without bulbils so is less able to spread.


  Allium paradoxum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Alliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Onion & Garlic family8Alliaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Allium
Allium
(Onions)

FEW-FLOWERED GARLIC

Allium paradoxum

Onion & Garlic Family [Alliaceae]