Tis the season for wild onions, aka meadow garlic: Allium family
Meadow garlic is the abundant cousin of domestic onions and garlic. All parts are edible.
What to look for in the wild:
- unmistakable onion smell
- grows from a bulb underground, the bulb also has an onion smell
- Small 6 petaled flower clusters on top of stem.
- Leaves are smooth, thin, and hollow
- Mature leave have a distinct triangular stem
- Color is pink/ red from the end of the bulb to the start of green leaves
Wild onions can be found in pastures, along waters edge or in your yard. It's not picky where it puts down roots and can sometimes be invasive.
Harvest all parts to eat raw or in cooked dishes. They are best gathered after the above ground portion has died back. Usually I'm the summer to early fall. Feel free to taste test at any time to see what you like best. I personally love collecting leaves in early spring. They are considered a chive at this point and give a mild onion flavor to top any dish with.
A general rule of thumb:
"If it looks and smells like and onion/ garlic, you can eat it" if not it can be a deadly look alike.
Known as the Death Cama
They look like a wild onions but don't have any odor like and onion. DO NOT EAT IT IF IT DOESN'T HAVE AN ONION SMELL!
They are very toxic to humans and animals.
Medicinal uses: high in vitamin a, c, potassium, calcium, manganese, and selenium. Helps aide in lowering high blood pressure, helps kill bacteria. Can be applied as a poultice topically for wounds.
Take away: Don't be afraid to eat wild weeds, just know what to look/ smell for. For wild onions and garlic it's all about their distinct smell. Remember to only harvest in areas that you know aren't sprayed with pesticides Enjoy!