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.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Flower-Visiting Insects of False Garlic in Illinois
(Short-tongued bees collect pollen or suck nectar, other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Robertson, although one observation is from Moure & Hurd)
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
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella aurata sn fq, Augochlorella striata (MH), Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena nothoscordi sn cp olg
Syrphidae: Sphaerophoria contiqua sn fq, Toxomerus marginatus sn; Bombyliidae: Bombylius fascipennis sn
Lycaenidae: Everes comyntas sn; Pieridae: Colias philodice sn, Pieris rapae sn
Noctuidae: Anagrapha falcifera sn
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Nothoscordum bivalve
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nothoscordum bivalve
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
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).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
It is grazed by livestock, but seldom represents a significant percentage of diet due to low productivity.
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