False Garlic
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False Garlic
P Introduced Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: False Garlic, False onionweed, Fragrant false garlic
Botanical name: Nothoscordum gracile    Family: Amaryllidaceae (Nargis family)
Synonyms: Allium gracile, Maligia gracilis, Milla macrostemon var. gracilis

False Garlic is a perennial herb with white flowers and long narrow grass-like leaves, which is found in SE Mexico to South America. Flowers are borne in umbels 10-20-flowered, often asymmetrical, up to 5 cm diameter; bracts persistent, 2, 1.2-2 cm x 5-8 mm, bases fused, overlapping, margins scarious. Flowers are fragrant, tepals white above with pink midvein and greenish bases, inverted-lanceshaped, 9-15 x 4 mm, tip blunt; filaments simple, adnate to tepals, 7-10 mm; anthers dark brown It grows in grasslands and spreads via seed and underground bulblets. Seeds are dispersed via wind, water and dumped garden waste. It is highly invasive and difficult to control. The bulb is sometimes gathered from the wild and used as a substitute for garlic. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in cultivation in Saharanpur, U.P.

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