Prairie wild onion

Allium is the genus name for onion.  We have 6 species of native onion in Nebraska.  Most common in the eastern third of the state is wild garlic and prairie wild onion.  Both are Allium canadense, but one produces bulblets where the flowers should be with an occasional floret between the bulbs.  This is Allium canadense variety (var.) canadense (wild garlic or meadow garlic)

Wild Garlic

The bulbs are ready for harvest in late June.  These bulbs can can be stored for a short time in cool temps of about 40 degrees.  This helps them germinate although, they are known to germinate right on the plant.

Another variety of the same species is Allium canadense var. lavendulare (Prairie wild onion).  It produces white to lavender florets.  In July, these florets each produce     tiny black seeds, which can be harvested from mid July to mid August. These can be dried and stored in a dry cool area for several years.  These seeds require 2 months of cold, moist treatment in order to germinate.  Both are tolerant of clay and moist soils.  Both are deer resistant.  A. canadense var. lavendulare attracts some hoverflies, bees, and parasitic wasps.

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