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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.


Public Domain

USDA NRCS Nacagdoches (TX) Technical Office

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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