Wild Onion; Canadian Garlic - Mobile Onion
Allium canadense linnaeus var. canadense
Liliaceae (Lily) Family
Plant is an upright, smooth perennial from a bulb that has a fibrous covering; Aromatic. Preferred habitat is roadsides, yards, prairies, woodlands, swales and fields. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
Leaves are basal; linear; flat; no teeth and no lobes. A sheathing at the base extends below ground to shield the bulb.
Flowers are in terminal umbels subtended by a spathe; often mixed with bulblets that are rotate (like a wheel). Color is lavender or white. Flowers occur in the spring.
Fruit is a capsule.
There are several variations on this onion, some with nodding heads, some whose bulb appears to form under the flower and having wavy tendrils leaning in a downward orientation. Others are just pretty. They are easily recognized by their strong aromatic odor when the leaves are bruised. Most will have bulblets replacing some or all of the flowers as the stem ages and the florets falls away. Those are the seed capsules. The actual edible onion is underground, wrapped securely with netted fibers. The entire plant is edible. The crushed onion was also used to prepare home remedies for treating colds, coughs and asthma, as well as an insect repellent.