|Common name:||wild garlic|
|Scientific name:||Allium vineale L.|
|Other scientific name/s:|
|Other common name/s:|
Catchment management authority boundaries
Regionally prohibited in the Goulburn Broken Catchment
Regionally controlled in the Mallee, Wimmera, North Central and North East Catchments
Restricted in the Glenelg Hopkins, West Gippsland, East Gippsland, Corangamite, Port Phillip and Western Port Catchments
Herbaceous plant - Forb (flowering herbaceous plant - not a grass)
Wild garlic is an erect, strong garlic-smelling perennial herb growing to 1 m high.
Stems of wild garlic are cylindrical and unbranched. They may produce clusters of aerial bulbils and/or flowers.
Wild garlic leaves are slender, hollow, almost cylindrical but channelled on one side. They are 2-3 mm in diameter and emerge from the lower half of the stem.
Wild garlic flowers may be white, pink or greenish in colour.
Wild garlic reproduces in three ways – bulbils, bulbs and seeds
Bulbils are brown, smooth and shiny and similar in size and shape to wheat grains. Up to 300 can be produced in a terminalhead.Up to six bulbs are formed at the base of the plant around the old bulb. Some bulbs have soft white shells while others have hard brown shells and can remain dormant in the soil for up to six years.
Seeds of wild garlic are 2-3 mm long, black and flattened on one side, though generally not common.
Growth and lifecycle
Method of reproduction and disperal
Bulbils and seeds of wild garlic are spread by the movement of contaminated hay, grain, machinery, animals and water.
The transporting and planting of contaminated wheat has been a significant contributor to the wide distribution of this weed.
Movement of soil and machinery is also responsible for the spread of wild garlic bulbs and bulbils along roadsides.
Animals may move bulbils in their coats and in mud on their feet.
Rate of growth and spread
Wild garlic bulbs and bulbils sprout after the first autumn rains. During winter and spring the leaves and stems develop, with underground bulbs forming at the base of the plant.
Heads are produced in late spring through to summer. Most heads produce bulbils only, but some heads produce both bulbils and flowers. Reproduction by seed is minor for this plant. When the aerial parts of the plant die in late summer the bulbils are shed onto the ground.
Seedbank propagule persistence
Wild garlic has three effective propagules consisting of soft and hard-shelled bulbs, bulbils and seeds. Some of the hard-shelled bulbs and all other propagules of the wild garlic will germinate within 12 months, whilst some hard-shelled bulbs have the ability to remain dormant for six years.
Wild garlic favours open, warm-temperate regions occurring on a range of soils but preferring heavy fertile loams. The weed is tolerant to frost and salinity, drought and water logging.
Infestations of wild garlic are widely distributed over much of the state, with Victoria the worst affected among all the states, particularly in the north central region.
The most serious invasions are at Castlemaine, Daylesford, Dimboola, Dunolly, Geelong, Maryborough, Ouyen and Woomelang. Other infestations are near Bendigo, Cranbourne, Donald, Hamilton, Kyneton, Port Fairy and Werribee.
The icons on the calendar below represent the times of year for flowering, seeding, germination, the dormancy period of Wild garlic and also the optimum time for treatment.
Agricultural and economic impacts
Wild garlic contains allyl sulphides which impart a strong garlic odour and flavour to produce, in particular, cereal grain, grain products, milk and meat.
The weed is classed as a contaminant, which may lead to the rejection of exported produce caused by the consumption of this plant by stock or when it is found in grain.Wild garlic has been suspected of causing cattle poisoning in Britain. However, problems are unlikely to arise if animals are offered a mixed diet.
Prescribed measures for the control of noxious weeds
- Application of a registered herbicide
- Physical removal
Other management techniques
Changes in land use practices and spread prevention may also support wild garlic management after implementing the prescribed measures above.
Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. 2001, Noxious weeds of Australia, 2nd edn, Inkata Press, Melbourne & Sydney.
Department of Primary Industries, Wild Garlic Regionally Prohibited Weed Fact Sheet, February 2010