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Allium oleraceum

Allium oleraceum(*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Allioideae
Tribus: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Subgenus: A. subg. Allium
Sectio: A. sect. Codonoprasum
Species: Allium oleraceum

Allium oleraceum L., 1753.

Allium oleraceum Des Moul. = Allium longispathum Redouté


Cepa oleracea (L.) Bernh.
Porrum oleraceum (L.) Moench
Codonoprasum oleraceum (L.) Rchb.
Raphione oleracea (L.) Salisb.
Allium virescens Lam.
Allium virens Lam.
Allium scabrum Gilib.
Allium parviflorum Thuill.
Allium oleraceum var. complanatum Wahlenb.
Allium intermedium G.Don
Allium oxypetalum G.Don
Codonoprasum intermedium Rchb.
Allium complanatum Boreau
Allium oleraceum var. latifolium W.D.J.Koch
Codonoprasum viridiflorum Schur
Codonoprasum alpicola Jord. & Fourr.
Codonoprasum complanatum (Boreau) Fourr.
Allium oleraceum var. carinatum Nyman
Allium pallens var. pseudooleraceum Seregin

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Austria; Baltic States; Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Central European Rus; Corse; Czechoslovakia; Denmark; East European Russia; Finland; France; Germany; Great Britain; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Kentucky; Netherlands; New South Wales; North European Russia; Northwest European R; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Sicilia; South European Russia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Yugoslavia; Ukraine;
Continental: Asie
North Caucasus; Transcaucasus; Turkey; Virginia

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 299. Reference page.
USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


International Plant Names Index. 2017. Allium oleraceum. Published online. Accessed: Sep. 10 2017.
The Plant List 2013. Allium oleraceum in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Sep. 10. 2017. Allium oleraceum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 10 Sep. 2017.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2017. Allium oleraceum in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Sep 10. Reference page.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Kohl-Lauch
English: Field garlic
eesti: Rohulauk
suomi: Nurmilaukka
français: Ail des jardins
Gàidhlig: gàirleag-achaidh
norsk bokmål: Villøk
Nederlands: Moeslook
polski: Czosnek zielonawy
svenska: Backlök

Allium oleraceum, the field garlic, is a Eurasian species of wild onion. It is a bulbous perennial that grows wild in dry places, reaching 30 centimetres (12 in) in height. It reproduces by seed, bulbs and by the production of small bulblets in the flower head (similarly to Allium vineale). Unlike A. vineale, it is very rare with A. oleraceum to find flower-heads containing bulbils only.[2] In addition, the spathe in A. oleraceum is in two parts.[2][3]

Its specific epithet oleraceum means "vegetable/herbal" in Latin and is a form of holeraceus (oleraceus).[4][5]


Allium oleraceum grows to a height of about 12 in (30 cm). The underground bulb is up to 0.8 in (2 cm) in diameter. The main stem is usually rounded, but is occasionally flattened, and bears two to four leaves and a terminal inflorescence composed of a number of small, stalked, pinkish-brown flowers and sometimes a few bulblets. The papery bracts have long points which often much overtop the flowers, the stamens of which do not protrude.[6]


Allium oleraceum is widespread across most of Europe, with additional populations in Turkey and the Caucasus.[7][1] It is sparingly naturalised in scattered locations in North America.[8][9][10]

In the United Kingdom, A. oleraceum is found in dry, grassy places, usually steeply sloping and calcareous soils, and on open sunny banks in river floodplains. A. oleraceum is scattered throughout England and very scattered in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.[11]: 902  Erosion of coastal areas leads to a reduction in the available habitat for this species, leading to population declines.[12] The highest altitude from which it has been recorded in Britain is 365 m (1,200 ft) in Dovedale, Derbyshire.[13]

Allium oleraceum subsp. girerdii was formerly included, but is now classified as Allium oporinanthum.[1]
See also

Allium vineale
Allium monanthum


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
The Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain p.382.
Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 299.
Parker, Peter (2018). A Little Book of Latin for Gardeners. Little Brown Book Group. p. 328. ISBN 978-1-4087-0615-2. "oleraceus, holeraceus = relating to vegetables or kitchen garden"
Whitney, William Dwight (1899). The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Century Co. p. 2856. "L. holeraceus, prop. oleraceus, herb-like, holus, prop. olus (oler-), herbs, vegetables"
McClintock, David; Fitter, R.S.R. (1961). The Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers. London: Collins. p. 205.
Allium oleraceum L. Altervista Flora Italiana
Flora of North America v 26 p 238, Allium oleraceum
BONAP (Biota of North America Program), floristic synthesis, Allium oleraceum
Gleason, H. A. & A.J. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada (ed. 2) i–910. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx.
Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725.
UK Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (GRFA) Archived 2008-11-21 at the Wayback Machine.
"Allium oleraceum". Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Retrieved 13 March 2020.

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