Ozarks Spring Wildflowers: False Garlic

False Garlic, Nothoscordum bivalve

False Garlic, Nothoscordum bivalve

The last few springs I’ve noticed these sweet little light yellow flowers but never could find out what they are. That’s because I thought they were an Allium, a member of the onion family. And I’m not the first person to make this mistake because the common name is False Garlic. In reality, Nothoscordum bivalve is a member of Lilaceae, the lily family.

The flowers are actually white with a yellow center and they do cluster together in an umbel the way onions do. But this plant has no oniony smell.

I found them mostly on glade areas in and in well-drained woodlands. This picture was taken on the Sac River Trail along the Little Sac River. I found many more of them in the glades uphill. You can see them around this Prickly Pear Cactus.

Picture of Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) on a glade on Sac River Trail.

Prickly Pear Cactus, surrounded by False Garlic at the Sac River Trail in March 2012.

The flowers themselves are about 3/4″ across and stand on a stem about 8-12″ high. The leaves are thin and grass-like but more fleshy than grass, and a nice spring green color. They would make a very nice garden plant, I think.

What do you think?

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