Onion Weed

Also known as:
Three-Cornered Garlic
S.W. Europe, N. Africa

General description

Grass-like perennial to 60 cm, strong garlic smell. Bulbs to 10-15 mm diam, with offset bulbs. Leaves 2-5, linear, fleshy, keeled, 20-60 cm long, with white papery sheaths, usually die back in late Spring. Flower stalk 3-sided, 20-60 cm high, fleshy, soft, sheathed by leaves at base. Flowers bell-shaped, 10-15 mm long, 5 petalled, white with green stripe on petals, on drooping stalks, Oct-Nov. Seed capsules 7 mm diam, seeds black.

Disturbed forest and shrubland, streamsides, herbfield, bare land, all esp after spraying or other clearance to bare land.

Seed and bulbs via water and soil movement. Dumped vegetation, contaminated machinery and nursery plants. Wasteland, roadsides, sprayed areas, hedgerows, gardens.

Forms dense mats in Winter/Spring in disturbed sites, inhibits recruitment.

Site management

Spraying with glyphosate only gives plant more room to expand. Better to overplant with taller species. In regenerating habitats, often better to leave altogether to minimise disturbance.

Recommended approaches

1. Hand pull or dig. Best when soil moist. Dispose or crush bulbs and mulch.
2. Weed wipe (330ml Amitrole + 10ml penetrant/1L) spring - summer only. Avoid contact with ground.
3. Spray spring - summer (3g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.