[Plant-biology] Re: Identify Ohio plant

Carol Paliwoda via plantbio%40net.bio.net (by capaliwoda from yahoo.com)
Tue Jul 3 12:52:24 EST 2007

monique <monique from mail.bio.tamu.edu> wrote in
news:f6b3cj$kji$1 from news.tamu.edu: 

> Carol Paliwoda wrote:
>> Can anyone identify this plant found in an Ohio field (pointed white
>> bulb on end of long stalk)?  Pictures at
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/cpal/
> Almost certainly a species of _Allium_, the genus that includes onions
> and garlic.
> M. Reed

A reply I got in sci.bio.botany quoted:
"It's garlic, Allium sativum, a rocambole or hardneck form.  The stalks
will straighten and the structure on top will develop into a bunch of
tiny topsets, sometimes with abortive flowers.  When the topsets dry
they will drop off and grow into a single clove the following year,
and a small bulb the year after, also putting up a stalk with topsets.

You can go back later this summer and dig up the small bulbs and eat
them or plant cloves to get more bulbs next year.  The topsets can 
become a bit of a pest in the garden, but you can eat the young plants
from them in the spring as 'green garlic', just like green onions.

Garlic is an old world plant, not native to Ohio.  Most garlic varieties
for cold climates are hardneck forms like this.  The 'hard neck' is the
remains of the stalk.  Warm climate garlics are usually softneck forms.
They don't put up a stalk."

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