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Nothoscordum gracile - (Dryand.)Stearn.

Common Name Slender false garlic
Family Alliaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Sandy roadsides, woods and cultivated ground in southeastern N. America[72].
Range South America. A garden escape in south-eastern N. America and Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Nothoscordum gracile Slender false garlic

Nothoscordum gracile Slender false garlic

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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Nothoscordum gracile is a BULB growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


N. fragrans. Allium fragrans. A. inodorum. non L.


Cultivated Beds;  Sunny Edge;  Woodland Garden.

Sandy roadsides, woods and cultivated ground in southeastern N. America[72].

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Bulb - raw or cooked. A garlic substitute[2], it is used as a spice[105, 177, 183]. The bulb is about 15mm in diameter[270].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a light sandy soil in a sunny position[42]. This species reproduces freely when in good growing conditions and has become a weed in some gardens[42]. The flowers have a rich, sweet lily-like perfume[245].


Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame[1]. Spring sown seed germinates freely[K]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in spring. Division of offsets after the leaves die down in summer. Larger bulbs can be replanted immediately into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for a year before planting them out when dormant in late summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Readers comment

Katrina   Sun Mar 25 2007

Gees, cant start to imagine growing onion weed on purpose :-P

Avner   Fri Jul 11 2008

that plant is a dangerous invasive,and is not an alternative for nothing, never cultivate it, destroy it with herbicides as leaves appear in autumn or uproot it if the invasion is initial. Avner

James Lamar   Mon Mar 30 2009

I've been trying to kill this weed for years! It just pops up all over the place and spreads worse than kudzu!

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Subject : Nothoscordum gracile  
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