Crow Garlic is another native plant of the onion family. It looks very similar to Chives and it is used in similar manner.
|Common Names||Crow Garlic, Wild Onion|
|Scientific Name||Allium vineale|
Very similar to chives, long and hollow, cylindrical or semi-cylindrical. Can be hard to spot among tall grass. The leaves die back before the flowering stems emerge in late Spring.
The flower heads appear in June and are initially covered with a papery sheath. This cover soon falls showing a round umbel combining greenish to purple bulbils and pink flowers. Very often it features only bulbils, but varieties with flowers only can also be found.
The flowering stem emerges in late Spring after the the leaves have died back. It is usually tough and fibrous.
Not technically seeds, the bulbils that compose the flower heads are like tiny bulbs and can be sprouted.
The bulbs are ovoid looking like a very small onion. They can be used but only if you have permission from the landowner to dig and uproot plants.
Grassland, including meadows, coastal cliffs, hedgerows, roadsides, parks and also among cereal crops.
It can be difficult to spot among tall grass. It is distinguished from grasses by its onion smell.
It is very similar to chives and easily confused before flowering, but that would be harmless as both plants have similar culinary value.
Somewhere in between onion, garlic and chives.
Common throughout Britain, very frequent in Southeast England, but more rare and only coastal in Northern Scotland.
The leaves are collected and used like chives. They are better in late Winter and early Spring, becoming rougher and less pleasant after.
The bulbils can be gathered and used fresh or air dried as a crunchy seasoning, or even sprouted for salads.
If you have permission from the landowner to uproot you may use the small bulbs which taste like a garlicky onion.
Like other Alliums it may help reduce blood pressure.
It is unwanted by farmers as it grows in pasture spoiling the taste of milk or mixed among cereals contaminating the crop.