Herb: Field Garlic

Latin name: Allium oleraceum

Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)

Medicinal use of Field Garlic:

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry grassy places, waysides etc.

Edible parts of Field Garlic:

Bulb - raw or cooked. Used as a garlic flavouring in soups etc. The bulbs are 10 - 20mm in diameter. Leaves - raw or cooked. The young leaves are used as a garlic flavouring in soups and stews, but are inferior to that species. Flowers - raw. Used as a garnish on salads. Used mainly as a flavouring in soups and stews. Bulbils - raw or cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Propagation of Field Garlic:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required. Bulbils can be harvested in late summer and planted out immediately.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry grassy places, waysides etc.

Known hazards of Allium oleraceum:

Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.