IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant consists of a rosette of basal leaves that are about 6-12" long and 1/8" across. These erect to semi-erect leaves are linear, flat, and curve slightly outward. Each leaf has a keel along its length, while the margins are smooth. Occasionally, flowering stems emerge from the ground that are the same height as the leaves, or slightly higher. These stems are round, rather than flat, and are held stiffly erect. Each stem develops an inflorescence from within a white sack-like covering that has a pointed tip. This covering splits open and withers away to reveal an umbel of about 6-12 flowers or a similar number of sessile bulblets (frequently some combination of both). The star-shaped flowers are about ½" across; they have 6 tepals that are white, light pink, or pink. Each bulbet is about ½" long, oblong, and white to pinkish red. Wild Garlic is especially likely to flower or have reddish bulbets in a sunny situation. The blooming period occurs during early summer and lasts about a month. There is no floral scent, although the foliage exudes a typical onion scent. The root system consists of a bulb with thick fibrous roots, from which offsets may occasionally form. This plant can also reproduce by the seeds or bulblets in the inflorescence.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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