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Few-Flowered Garlic

Edible Edible Spring Spring Summer Summer

An invasive wild onion from Asia, this plant produces small garlic like bulbils at the base of the short, thin, flower stem.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Few-Flowered Garlic, Few-Flowered Leek
Scientific Name Allium paradoxum
Season Start Mar
Season End Jul
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Long, thin and green with a furrow running the length of the leaf on top and a ridge underneath. The underside is shown in the adjacent photo.

Flowers

A small, delicate, white petaled flower which can have slight markings on the petals but mainly seen as plain. There is normally only one or not many flowers per plant, hence the common name.

Flower Stem

Has a triangular flower stem like Three-Cornered Leek.

Fruit

After the flowers wilt they leave behind small, garlic like bulbils that can be treated as such although they are not quite as strong in taste as garlic.

Habitat

As an invasive fast spreading alien plant Few-Flowered Garlic can occur in many environments, hedgerows, woodland edges and clearings, flowerbeds, parks and verges.

Possible Confusion

Can be confused with Three-Cornered Leek, pictured, but the flowers on Three-Cornered Leek have green markings and don’t develop bulbils.
Could be mistaken for young Daffodils but the smell of garlic should help avoid confusion.

Smell

Like garlic.

Taste

A cross between onion, chives and garlic.

Frequency

Not overly common but can be found in large quantities when it has escaped.

Collecting

The leaves, flowers and bulbils are the edible parts of this plant.

Other Facts

Few-Flowered Garlic is listed on schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside act and as such it is illegal to plant or help spread this plant in the countryside.

COMMENTS

7 comments for Few-Flowered Garlic

  1. Angela says:

    Hello, We have moved into our new house and have discovered we have Few-Flowered Garlic how do you recommend we remove this.
    Thanks

    1. Poppy Ives says:

      simply uproot it before it goes to seed.

  2. Linda Young says:

    Have this in my garden. Was there when we moved in . Trying to get rid of it but can easily grow through landscape fabric. Not good. Certainly very invasive.

  3. Morag Eadie says:

    What is the best way to get rid of few flowered garlic which has arrived in my snowdrop bank

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Hi Morag, it can be quite hard to get rid of as it is an invasive plant but if you keep pulling it up and eating or composting it, it will soon die back.

  4. Morag says:

    I agree — very invasive. It has arrived amongst my snowdrops — grrr! Have been trying to pull it all out — stem, leaves, flower plus its little bulblets, and the ground bulb, easiest while the ground is damp. Fear I will be doing this for years, because bulblets easily fall to the ground.
    Would welcome any advice.

    1. Poppy Ives says:

      It is hard to get rid of but if you keep weeding and eating your way through it you should be able to keep it under control 😉

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