Allium canadense

Wild Garlic

$3.00 - $150.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.
1 lb.


*Dormant Bulbs ship Summer. Wild Garlic is a hardy plant, first sending out tender, strappy leaves and then blooming throughout late spring and early summer.  Top-set bulbs form before the flowers, ranging from creamy, pale green to deep maroon.  The white and pink blossoms are almost an afterthought, streaking out beyond the knobby bulblets and creating an airy starburst effect.  The blooms do not have a fragrance, but disturbing or crushing the foliage will release the iconic onion-y smell.  The seed we sell is not seed at all, but actually the top-set bulbs (see corresponding photo).    
This is a very versatile plant, adapting to all but the wettest soil conditions.  Although it does prefer more sun, it grows just fine in the shade.  Wild Garlic may not flower in deep shade; in which case, the plant will continue to form the aerial bulblets, which is the primary way Wild Garlic reproduces.   

The bulbs of Wild Garlic are edible and making a tea from them has historically been used to control coughs and vomiting.  Rabbits and deer tend to avoid eating any of the Allium species due to the onion scent and the strong flavor of the foliage. Allium canadense attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.  Smaller bees such as onion bees, masked bees, mason bees, and plasterer bees are important pollinators for this plant.   

Other common names include Meadow Garlic and Wild Onion. 

*Many know that fall is planting time for commercial garlic. The same goes for Wild Garlic; planting the bulbs early fall allows the plant more time to establish and mature.  Garlic shoots may even emerge after a fall planting.  A hard frost will cause the plants to die back, but they will continue their growth early spring.  For this reason, we prefer not to disturb this process so we only ship Wild Garlic bulbs in August or October (our Summer and Fall bare root shipping seasons) after they have emerged, bloomed, and set seed. 

Seed of this species is kept under refrigeration (33-38 F) in our warehouse. The days in transit to you in colder or warmer conditions won’t harm the seed, but it should be put back in refrigeration until you are ready to plant or apply pre-sowing treatment.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Summer Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
N/A August October 1-2 years

Allium canadense - Wild Garlic

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

5 Questions asked on Allium canadense

If I buy "seeds" of the wild garlic, how deeply do I plant and how far in advance of first frost? Should I mulch seeds over 1st winter? If so, do I expose before thaw?
Hi Dorothy, Wild Garlic seeds are best planted in the fall or winter-sown, no deeper than the seed is wide. (Note the Germination Code = C(60) for 60 days cold-moist stratification). There is no need to mulch them like you would if growing cultivated garlic – just sow them into your soil in fall, and wait for germination in spring.
How quickly does wild garlic spread?
Hi Amanda, A spreading rate would be difficult to quantify and completely dependent on growing conditions and competition from other plants.
If the state or county lists it as noxious what does that mean? Is it legal to buy and plant these?
Hi Christopher. Wild Garlic is listed as a noxious plant in many places, but we have not seen where it is considered restricted or prohibited. Our research has not included an exhaustive list of each county in each state, though, so double check with your local university extension for regulated plants in your county.
If I'm buying bulbs for August delivery do I choose Bare Root Plants or seeds? Thank you!
Hi Karolyn. If you are interested in bulbs, select the quantity of Bare Root Plants you would like to purchase (bulbs are a type of bare root). This early in the season, we will automatically send your Wild Garlic in August. If you have a date range within that month that works best for you, add those details to the Order Comments; we try our best to accommodate those timing requests.
Why is this species listed as noxious in some states?
The range maps we list on our websites are sourced from BONAP, a non-profit group that does an amazing amount of research to compile such detailed maps – then graciously shares their findings. They comb through historical documentation dating back over 100 years and incorporate current USDA listings to determine the native ranges of plant species. These maps also highlight counties that cite a species as ‘noxious.’ More often than not, native plant species that make the ‘noxious weed’ list are included for agricultural regulations or reasons, although those reasons are not always made apparent. Some states include ALL Alliums on their noxious weed lists – native and non-native, alike.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial, Shade
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry
18 inches
Bloom Time
May, June, July
Bloom Color
Deer Resistant
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code