Crow Garlic

What is crow garlic?

(Allium vineale)

Crow GarlicGeneric Weed Distribution Map
  • Crow garlic is a weed of crops and pasture. It is also known as field or wild garlic.
  • Crow garlic is a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of crow garlic are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify crow garlic

  • Crow garlic occurs in two forms: vegetative plants which produce leaves only, and plants which produce leaves and a stem bearing the flower head.
  • Vegetative plants produce two or three long, slender, hollow, blue-green leaves. By maturity one soft central bulb and one or two hard offset bulbs are formed at the base of the plant.
  • Flowering plants are larger and produce four or five leaves and a single stem up to 1 metre in height. The flowering head is initially enclosed in a papery membrane, which in summer bursts open to reveal the flower or bulbils.
  • Flowering heads may produce flowers, bulbils, or a mixture of the two: in Tasmania flowers are rarely produced. Flowering plants produce a single, soft white offset bulb, and about six hard straw-coloured offset bulbs.
  • Each type of bulb and the bulbils can develop into a new flowering plant during the next season, although the hard offset bulbs can remain dormant for up to six years. Most of the plants growing from hard offset bulbs and from bulbils are vegetative. Flowering plants develop from central bulbs and soft offset bulbs.
  • For further help in identifying crow garlic, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora database for crow garlic illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.
Crow GarlicCrow Garlic
Image top right: crow garlic (Image: Zoya Akulova)
Image above left: crow garlic (Image: CDFA)
Image above right: crow garlic (Image: CDFA)

Crow garlic in Tasmania

  • Crow garlic occurs in a number of agricultural areas throughout Tasmania (see map).
  • Crow garlic can be a serious competitor of crops and pasture. Crow garlic can also taint the milk and meat of animals grazing on infested pastures.
  • In cereal crops the ripe bulbils are harvested with the grain and cannot be subsequently removed, making the crop unsaleable for malting or flour-milling.

What is the legal status of crow garlic in your area?

The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with crow garlic are laid out in the Statutory Weed Management Plan for Crow Garlic

Use Table 1 (Zone A municipalities) in the Statutory Weed Management Plan for Crow Garlic to find out whether your area falls in an eradication or containment zone.

Detailed management and control guidelines for crow garlic can be found in the Crow Garlic Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Crow Garlic Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

See also

Crow Garlic - Control Guide
Herbicides for Crow Garlic Control
Statutory Weed Management Plan for Crow Garlic
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links

Pest Genie

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