70412What an unappealing name! That is probably why so many of us know it simply as ‘wild onion’ or ‘allium’. Few of us bother to get sufficiently acquainted with it to know it by the species name of Allium triquetrum, which is actually not much more appealing than ‘onion weed’. It is not really wild, but has naturalized as an invasive exotic, or in other words, ‘weed’. At least it is a pretty weed.

The foliage might not be much to look at as it emerges from formerly dormant bulbs late in winter. Each bulb produces only two or three leaves that get only about half a foot tall, and are only a bit wider and glossier than grassier weeds. Then the three sided flower stalks grow up as much as a foot above the foliage, and bloom with as many as a dozen small and pendulous white flowers.

The half inch long flowers are individually no more interesting than their foliage; but collectively, they briefly brighten unrefined or neglected areas of the garden with wispy soft white drifts of bloom. They can bloom through shallow weeds or groundcover, and tolerate considerable shade. Yet, as resilient as they are, they are not too drought tolerant. Onion weed is edible, but not very flavorful.

16 thoughts on “Onion Weed

    1. I do not believe that these are commonly known as ramps. That is another species. However, some might consider them to be similar. I really would not know because I do not know what ramps are like.


      1. Actually, I do not think so. I only neglected them, but they had lived there for years before I got there, so I do not know why they died. It was a slow process over a few years.

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  1. I always simply harvested as many as possible and gently sauteed them with butter and then added well beaten eggs, delicious. They also would be used in Hasenpheffer, or roasted chicken. I do miss my wild onions.

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    1. I only notice the aroma of these while pulling up those that I do not want (which has not happened in a long time). Society garlic has such a strong aroma that it can be objectionable.


  2. I have a weed I just casually call wild garlic. Not even sure if I am correct. It has a small purple roundish flower. I want to figure out its exact name so this year I’m gonna photograph the darn thing and ID it.

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    1. There are not many weeds that look like that. You would recognize it if it were chives. Thrift should not be a weed, and has pinkish flowers. There is a native wildflower that sort of fits the description, but the trusses are not so rounded.

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