Meadow Garlic

Biological Name:

Meadow-Garlic – Allium canadense

Natural Habitat:

The natural habitat of Meadow-Garlic is likely moist, shaded areas, such as forests and meadows, in temperate regions.


Meadow-garlic is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in fields and other grassy areas. It is a member of the Liliaceae family which also includes plants such as onions and asparagus. Meadow-garlic is an annual or perennial plant that produces small white or purple flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas meadow-garlic is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can you eat meadow garlic?
A: During the cooler months from fall through spring, this is one wild edible you can count on. Both the leaves and the bulbs of meadow garlic plants can be used, most often in the springtime. Make sure to rinse the plants thoroughly. Common uses include its addition in soup recipes and meat-based dishes.

Q: What happens if I eat garlic everyday?
A: Garlic is highly nutritious and associated with a variety of health benefits. However, if you eat too much of it, it may cause side effects like bad breath, acid reflux, digestive issues, and an increased risk of bleeding.

Q: Can you eat wild garlic that grows in your yard?
A: The entire plant is edible from the leaves to the bulb. You can use the greens just like you would use fresh chives. Just snip them off with some scissors, wash them well in a few changes of water to get off dirt, sand and bugs, and chop them up however you like.

Q: What happens if you eat too much wild garlic?
A: Some people are allergic to plants related to garlic and reported side effects from taking wild garlic range from bad breath and stomach upsets to allergic reactions. Overindulgence in the herb might also cause flatulence and heartburn.

Q: Is wild garlic safe to eat raw?
A: Wild garlic has become one of the food joys of spring. It grows in abundance, it’s easy to identify, the whole plant is edible, and it can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

Q: What is special about wild garlic?
A: Garlic is widely known for its antibacterial, antibiotic and possibly antiviral properties, and contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and copper. Studies have also shown that it may help reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Q: What is the difference between wild garlic and garlic?
A: Wild garlic has a lighter flavour to traditional bulb garlic, and the green, pointed leaves and white flowers of this bulbous perennial flowering plant are easy to identify, making it a good first foray into foraging.

Q: Is a meadow garlic asexual?
A: In the weedy plant species Allium vineale (wild garlic), individuals may simultaneously produce sexually and asexually derived offspring, by seed and bulbils, respectively.

Q: Will garlic reseed itself?
A: The following year, each clove of that garlic plant will send up a new sprout. When you plant garlic, you plant individual cloves, but since these were never separated they’ll come up as dense patches of garlic shoots.

Q: Can garlic become invasive?
A: “Wild garlic is considered a noxious weed plant,” says gardening expert Bryan McKenzie of The Bumper Crop Times. “It is highly invasive and can ‘steal’ nutrients from turfgrass and other plants. You should remove wild garlic as quickly as possible.”

Q: Can you eat flowered garlic?
A: The characteristic white flowers however, are perfectly edible – and pretty too – although the plant is at its best before too many flowers appear, signalling tougher leaves and a more bitter flavour. In April, when wild garlic is at its peak, you are more likely to find delicious tight buds than open flowers.

Q: How long does it take for garlic to reproduce?
A: On average, you’ll be waiting about nine months from seeds to harvest. The good news: once you get these bulbs in the ground, there’s little to do but wait. Follow these easy tips to plant, grow, and harvest garlic in your home garden.

Q: What type of reproduction is meadow garlic?
A: Wild garlic can reproduce sexually with flowers and seeds, or asexually with aerial bulbils or offshoots from the underground bulbs (Ronsheim and Bever 2000). The reproduction methods aren’t mutually exclusive, and the plants can utilize multiple methods at the same time.

Q: What is the best variety of garlic to grow?
A: The best garlic varieties to plant If you live in a mild climate that doesn’t get hard freezes in winter, go for softneck garlic. This type of garlic does well in USDA zone 5 and above, making it fairly versatile. If your winters are very cold, choose a hardneck garlic, which flourishes in zone 4 and below.

Q: Where does meadow garlic grow?
A: Allium canadense, also known as Canada onion, Canadian garlic, wild garlic, meadow garlic and wild onion is a perennial plant native to eastern North America from Texas to Florida to New Brunswick to Montana. The species is also cultivated in other regions as an ornamental and as a garden culinary herb.

Q: How do you overwinter garlic society?
A: In cold-winter climates, grow society garlic in containers. Give the plant especially bright sunlight and bring it inside before the first frost.

Q: What is the growing period for garlic?
A: Most types are about 90 days to harvest, once growth starts. Despite its size, it has quite a mild flavor more similar to onion and shallots than traditional garlic. Bulbs and cloves are large (up to one pound each!), with just a few cloves to a bulb.

Q: What type of soil does garlic grow in?
A: Garlic grows best in well-drained, moisture-retentive soil with pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Improve your soil’s organic matter content by adding well-rotted manure or compost in spring or fall.

Q: How do you reseed garlic?
A: Garlic is vegetatively propagated rather than grown from seeds. To regrow garlic, keep bulbs intact until no more than 1-2 days before replanting, then simply pull apart garlic bulbs and plant individual cloves as described above.

Q: How do I get rid of garlic Meadow?
A: For best results, dig them out with a thin trowel. Unfortunately, there are no preemergence herbicides that will control wild onion or wild garlic. They must be treated with a postemergence herbicide, and persistence is the key. Plants will need to be sprayed more than once and for more than one season.

Q: How do you keep wild garlic from spreading?
A: Only apply herbicide to garlic plant because it may cause nearby plants to die.Wild garlic is a perennial.Digging bulbs out of ground may work for smaller areas.After applying herbicide don’t mow lawn for at least two weeks.

Q: Should I remove wild garlic?
A: Consider non-chemical options first. On loose or light soils, remove all bulbs with a hand fork or trowel. This is a laborious task and will only be effective if done thoroughly, perhaps even resorting to sieving the soil to ensure all small bulbs and bulbils are removed.

Q: Does wild garlic come back every year?
A: Once the bulb is dug up, the garlic won’t come back next year from wherever you took it. And besides, unless you have landowner’s consent, it is illegal.

Q: What kills wild garlic in your yard?
A: Three-way broadleaf herbicides containing 2,4-D, dicamba, and mecoprop (MCPP) will provide control of wild garlic and wild onion with repeat applications.

Q: What bugs does garlic keep away?
A: In particular, garlic spray has been noted to work against aphids, mites, caterpillars, armyworms, cutworms, beetles, slugs, mosquitoes, and flies.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.