NS4074 : Few-flowered Garlic

taken 7 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Few-flowered Garlic
Few-flowered Garlic
This plant, Allium paradoxum, is called Few-flowered Garlic in Stace's Flora (2nd edition), and Few-Flowered Leek in some other works. It is an introduced species, originating in the Caucasus and nearby lands.

The examples shown in this photograph were growing on rough ground beside NS4074 : Dumbarton Foreshore Walk, a little way up the beach from the remains of a platform (NS4074 : Industrial relics at Dumbarton foreshore) and not far from a slipway (NS4074 : Old slipway at Dumbarton foreshore). However, the species is often found in woodland; for example, I have seen it growing in abundance in woods alongside the River Clyde between Uddingston and Bothwell Castle, and elsewhere.

Although this is by no means a rare species, attempting to identify it with some popular guides could prove frustrating. In connection with introduced species, the book "Collins Scottish Wild Flowers" observes that "Few-flowered Leek ... which flowers abundantly in May, is omitted from many field guides in which the nearest match is a rare Garlic from Cornwall!".

The same book goes on to note that the plant spreads by means of tiny bulbils below the flowers (these can be seen in my picture, clustered at the top of the upright part of the stem, which is triangular in cross-section); these bulbils break off when the plant is cut or grazed, and grow into new plants, "producing dense carpets in many lowland woods".

For more on its nature as an invasive species, and for views of typical carpet of these flowers, see NT2470 : Few-flowered leek or garlic and NT3470 : Wildflower Carpet.

A commonly-encountered Allium species, one that likewise forms dense carpets in woodland, is NS4373 : Ramsons (Allium ursinum). Among the culinary plants in the same genus are the common onion, leek, and chives.
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NS4074, 228 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 10 May, 2013   (more nearby)
Thursday, 16 May, 2013
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4028 7444 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.1841N 4:33.5133W
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OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4028 7444
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EAST (about 90 degrees)
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