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What is this allium? I was told it was "wild garlic" but...  RSS feed

 
master steward
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A homesteader on my local facebook Homesteading group gave away a bunch of plants she called "wild garlic." But, when I look up "wild garlic" the plants I'm finding don't seem to look like what I have. It appears to spread by division, as there were a few growing in clumps, but the bulbs are all round...
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I yanked it out of the ground for the picture
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Upside down. Took this picture and then my camera batteries died...
 
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Looks like a miniature leek 😊
 
Nicole Alderman
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I was thinking it might be some type of leek! It looks a lot like my Elephant "Garlic," which is also technically a leek.

Perhaps these are Babington Leeks? http://www.incrediblevegetables.co.uk/shop/babingtons-leeks/babington-perennial-leek-bulbils/ Here's a piicute they post of the Babington Leeks they sell.
 
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It certainly could be a leek, but my guess is you may have a variety of garlic. It certainly doesn't look like the "wild garlic" that so often grows in lawns, especially here in the south, with their skinny round hollow green tops. The flat wide greens of the one in your picture I think puts it into a leek or a more traditional garlic family. I think it's garlic, with the bulb and a notably skinny neck turning into wide flat green parts. Here are two pics of alliums from my garden. The one on top is a type of leek, the one on the bottom is garlic.

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I received an unnamed 'garlic" from someone's garden bed. It makes huge cloves, given enough time in the ground. Sometimes my plants look like yours when I pull them. At this stage the structure inside has rings like an onion, but the taste is emphatically garlic. When you have multiplied to enough plants, feel free to use them at this stage. It seasons perfectly.

The first time I first saw this, I replanted. The following season it had divided. So yours may simply be immature. As for the "wild" portion of the name, mine, 8 years later are popping up in places I never planted them. Natralized in my yard is how I would describe it. I wonder, do birds eat garlic bulbils? I've never observed it... but I wonder.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm thinking this thing has got to be some sort of leek? It looks just like the elephant garlic (which is a type of leek) that my mother gave me.

Another interesting observation about this allium is that it LOVES growing in the shade. Not knowing where to plant it, and thinking it was ramps, I planted a bunch in our woods where it gets only dappled/filtered light. They're doing GREAT. The ones under my peach tree died. The ones in the garden bed (where other garlic are thriving) died. The ones I planted behind a wood debri pile (so mostly shaded) are hanging on, but not doing nearly as well as the ones in the woods.

What alliums like shade?
 
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If you are lucky this could/should be perennial leek. Grows in clusters of 5 to 15 shoots in late august. Best propagated generative witch means cut flower heads.Its a winter hardy leek witch gives you middle finger tick leeks early April or March depending on the climate.
 
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That looks a lot like a ramp if it had any had flowers that looked like the flowers of lily of the valley that's what they could be it depends on where they were found
 
Anthony DiDonato
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Ramps are a shade dweller and like moist areas.
 
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I'd cut a leaf and do a smell test, if it is a garlic you'll know right away.
 
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When we lived in 4 Corners, Central Florida, there was a common landscaping plant that looked and smelled (even from the car) like wild onions.  It was planted heavily in the median at an intersection near our house. 

A little research, and we discovered it was called "Society Garlic."  An allium, like garlic or onions, with tops that sub for green onions, and bulbs that are an extremely mild garlic.  The concept behind the name is that it was something that could be eaten by "society" ladies without creating offensive halitosis. 

 
Nicole Alderman
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I took a bite of the leaves, and it's really mild compared to my elephant garlic (which it looks almost exactly like). I took pictures of both, but then my kids ran off with my camera, so when I find it, I'll post the pictures.

Anyway, the leaves taste a lot like garlic chives. A distinct garlic flavor, but pretty mild--it didn't make my eyes water like eating the elephant "garlic" leaves did.
 
Nicole Alderman
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dirk maes wrote:If you are lucky this could/should be perennial leek. Grows in clusters of 5 to 15 shoots in late august. Best propagated generative witch means cut flower heads.Its a winter hardy leek witch gives you middle finger tick leeks early April or March depending on the climate.



I think you might be right! I went and looked up "perenial leek" and it looks a whole lot like mine. And, both perernial leeks and my plant had little baby plants coming out of them. I found a pretty informative site, here (http://living-mudflower.blogspot.com/2013/09/comparing-perennial-leeks-with-regular.html) about perenial leeks. It looks like they die back when it gets hot. Maybe the ones in my garden bed aren't actually dead, but will come back next year from their bulb?
 
Anthony DiDonato
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Ramps are a wild leek that have a strong garlic smell but mild flavor
 
dirk maes
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Nicole
Perennial leek is a 'forgotten vegetable' in my own country Belgium, where it originates.
Thanks too the quality photo, i have been able to identify it .
It is a leek which is is resistant to much of the leek diseases .
Nick out the flower heads in April-May and they will produce shoots in the fall. They will grow during mild winters and spring. Its a hunger gap green so it will give fresh greens February till early April.
I have them for more then 20 years and there is no sign of degradation.
Too bee honest, its a real winner!
 
dirk maes
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Sorry .More info.
You have to dig them up early February-March,or early fall, depending on you're climate and replant them and in the same time select the best plants to propagate. There is just one baseline: the thickest plants do not  give the thickest offspring. It is a bit rare, i know, but  it is the way it is.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you, Dirk, for all the information! I'm really excited to have perennial leeks!
 
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