Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wild garlic

with 26 comments

These pages have recently shown you two white-flowered members of the lily family, crow poison and death camas. Another local member of the family is wild garlic, Allium drummondii, whose flowers can be white but often range through pink and violet to reddish-purple. The open flowers in this emerging cluster were about half an inch across. I photographed them on Great Northern Blvd. in north-central Austin on March 11. Since then I’ve seen lots of wild garlic flowers all over central Texas.

Allium drummondii grows in Mexico and in the parts of the central United States shown in the USDA map.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 28, 2012 at 5:44 AM

26 Responses

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  1. If the plant is not in flower, is there any way to distinguish between wild garlic and wild onion?

    Deb Platt

    March 28, 2012 at 6:38 AM

  2. Beautiful photo, Steven!


    March 28, 2012 at 7:35 AM

  3. Gorgeous flower and terrific shot! 🙂


    March 28, 2012 at 7:36 AM

  4. STUNNING!!!


    March 28, 2012 at 8:13 AM

  5. Love their portrait against the sky.


    March 28, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    • Me too. I often use blue sky as a neutral background against which to isolate a subject. For low-growing plants, that means I have to get my head down near the ground.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

  6. Both garlic and onion are prolific in an acre of backyard. Both beautiful flowers. Stinks to high heaven when it’s time to mow, though, and I cry the whole time.


    March 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    • Yes, they’re beautiful little flowers. I spend a lot of time sitting or kneeling on the ground when I take pictures, so at this time of year it’s common for me to notice a pungent scent coming from a garlic or onion plant I must inadvertently have bruised. Luckily it’s never been enough to make my eyes water the way yours have.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

  7. Oh So Pretty!


    March 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM

  8. I’m in awe. Your work and obvious lifelong mastery in photography is inspiring! Thank you for visiting – it was an honour to have you. Sharon


    March 29, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    • Welcome to nature in Texas. We’re a long way from Finland, but when I started to pursue native plants in 1999 one of the most knowledgeable people I met had moved here decades ago from Finland. What different climates we have!

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2012 at 7:01 AM

  9. Yay for wild onion and Yay for wild garlic. The spring of freely mowed lawns in my neighbors are ripe with the onion scent and I harvest them for eating.

    I don’t have drummondii but I have canadense in huge amounts. I love them both but think drummondii is the prettier of the two.


    March 29, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    • I agree with you, Nancy, that drummondii has the prettier flowers. I haven’t tried eating either of them yet, but I’m glad that you have.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM

  10. Just “magnifique”! 🙂


    March 30, 2012 at 10:59 PM

  11. Very pretty blossoms!


    March 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

  12. […] yellow flowers are four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia, and the violet-colored flowers are wild garlic, Allium drummondii, both of which you’ve seen here […]

  13. How pretty! A wild version of my cultivated alliums. Love your wildflowers…

    amy b.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    • Glad you like the wild version of the Allium (actually we have two native species here). Texas is wildflower heaven.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2012 at 5:48 PM

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