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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description and adaptation

Lily Family (Liliaceae). False garlic is a cool season, native perennial herb and is one of the first plants in Texas to emerge and flower during the spring of the year. The leaves are very narrow (6 to 16 inches long), while the flower stem is round. False garlic typically is from 5-22 inches in height. Flowers are white with a yellow base on the inside, about 1 inch in diameter, and have 6 perianth parts (petals and sepals). This species has two bracts that are located at the base of the inflorescence. This “odorless” species is similar to most other plants in the lily family in that it has a bulb. In the Great Plains, it flowers from April to May.

It is very common in yards, parks, roadsides and pastures. Seldom is it found in cropland fields, due to plowing. False garlic does not tolerate ponded or saturated soils, nor is it commonly found in harsh dry environments. Associated plants in Texas are henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), chickweed (Stellaria media), buttercups (Ranunculus spp.) and bedstraws (Galium spp.).

Other similar plants are native onions or garlics (Allium spp.), which have a distinctive odor. Similar plants that do not have a distinctive odor are some species of Narcissus (daffodils) and star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Neither of these have the distinctive two bracts at the base of the inflorescence.

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USDA NRCS Nacagdoches (TX) Technical Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Alternative names

Crowpoison, Allium bivalve, crow-poison

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USDA NRCS Nacagdoches (TX) Technical Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Allium striatum Jacq.:
Argentina (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Nothoscordum bivalve (L.) Britton:
Argentina (South America)
Bolivia (South America)
Canada (North America)
Chile (South America)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
Peru (South America)
Uruguay (South America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Allium bivalve (L.) Kuntze:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Nothoscordum sellowianum Kunth:
Argentina (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Ala., Ariz., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Miss., Mo., N.Mex., N.C., Ohio, Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.; s to South America.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Bulbs globose to subglobose, to 1–1.5 cm diam.; outer coats brown; bulblets absent. Scape solitary (rarely 2), terete, (10–)20–40 cm × 1–3 mm. Leaves 1–4, sheaths enveloping neck of bulb, hyaline, subtruncate apically; blade filiform or linear, to 30 cm × 1–4(–5) mm, margins entire. Umbel mostly 3–6(–10)-flowered, often asymmetrical, 1–3 cm diam.; bracts persistent, 2, 1–2 cm × 4–8 mm, base coherent, imbricate, margins scarious or hyaline, apex acuminate. Flowers not fragrant; tepals whitish to cream, at least outer ones with red or purplish red midvein, elliptic, (8–) 10–12(–15) × 3–4.5 mm, apex acute or acuminate; filaments simple, adnate to tepals, 5–6 mm; anthers yellow; ovary crestless; style persistent, equaling stamens; stigma unlobed, 3/4 perianth; pedicel erect, 1–2 cm, elongating as flowers develop, but often of several lengths even in fruit. Capsules subglobose or obovoid, 6–8 × 6–8 mm. Seeds 4–7 per locule.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Ornithogalum bivalve Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 306. 1753; Allium bivalve (Linnaeus) Kuntze; A. striatum Jacquin; Nothoscordum striatum (Jacquin) Kunth; N. texanum M. E. Jones
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Ecology

Habitat

Open woods, prairies, barrens; 0--1700m.
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of False Garlic in Illinois

Nothoscordum bivalve (False Garlic)
(Short-tongued bees collect pollen or suck nectar, other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Robertson, although one observation is from Moure & Hurd)

Bees (long-tongued)
Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada articulata sn, Nomada cressonii sn fq, Nomada cuneatus sn, Nomada luteola sn, Nomada ovatus sn fq, Nomada parva sn fq, Nomada sayi sn fq, Nomada superba superba sn fq; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia atriventris sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella aurata sn fq, Augochlorella striata (MH), Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena nothoscordi sn cp olg

Flies
Syrphidae: Sphaerophoria contiqua sn fq, Toxomerus marginatus sn; Bombyliidae: Bombylius fascipennis sn

Butterflies
Lycaenidae: Everes comyntas sn; Pieridae: Colias philodice sn, Pieris rapae sn

Moths
Noctuidae: Anagrapha falcifera sn

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering Mar--Dec.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Nothoscordum bivalve

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nothoscordum bivalve

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Status

This is considered rare or threatened in two Midwest states in 2005. Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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USDA NRCS Nacagdoches (TX) Technical Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

None known. Contact your local NRCS office for seed sources of this species.

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USDA NRCS Nacagdoches (TX) Technical Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

It is grazed by livestock, but seldom represents a significant percentage of diet due to low productivity.

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USDA NRCS Nacagdoches (TX) Technical Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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