- Field garlic (Allium oleraceum) is a bulbous perennial that grows wild in dry places in northern Europe, reaching 80cm in height.
- It reproduces by seed, bulbs and by the production of small bulblets in the flower head (similarly to the Wild Onion Allium vineale).
- Unlike A. vineale however, it is very rare with Field garlic to find flower-heads containing bulbils only.
- In addition, the spathe in Field garlic is in two parts.
Know your Field Garlic - Distribution
- Field garlic is native to temperate Eurasia.
- It is native to Britain and is found in dry, grassy places, usually steeply sloping and calcareous soils, and on open sunny banks in river floodplains.
- It favours altitudes of 0-365m.
- A. oleraceum is scattered throughout England and very scattered in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
- Erosion of coastal areas leads to a reduction in the available habitat for this species, leading to population declines.
Know your Field Garlic - Position and Soil
- This plant prefers partial or full exposure to sunlight.
- Field Garlic tends to grow in slightly moist, heavy clay-like soil, although it will grow just fine in other soils.
- This plant spreads quickly, much like a weed, and can be difficult to get rid of.
Know your Field Garlic - Cultivation
- An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil.
- The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply.
- Seed is rarely if ever produced in Britain.
- The plant usually produces many small bulbils in the flowering head and these can spread themselves freely around the garden.
- Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes.
- This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other.
- Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.