What Does Wild Onion Look Like?

If you’ve ever seen an unusual weed in your yard that you couldn’t identify, you may be wondering what it is and how it got there. Homeowners and amateur gardeners are constantly on the lookout for new methods to keep their gardens looking great, so it’s critical that you are able to spot any weeds that may grow, so you can remove them before they do any long-term harm.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the pesky Wild Onion, including what it looks like, where it grows, how to get rid of Wild Onion, and more. We’ll give you all the information you need about this invasive weed so that you can learn how to get rid of it!

So, what does Wild Onion look like? Keep reading and find out!

What is Wild Onion?

Wild Onion, also known as Allium canadense or the Canada Onion, is a perennial plant native to eastern North America that has been naturalized in many other places throughout North America and the world.

These weeds have hollow, flattened leaves and a round bulb below the ground that is reminiscent of any grocery store onion. This weed flowers between May and June, when it’s pollinated by the American bee.

Where Does Wild Onion Grow?

The common Wild Onion is one of the most widespread weeds in the United States, but it is especially prevalent in the eastern sector. It may be found as far south as Texas and east to Florida, all the way north to New Brunswick, Canada, and as west as Montana.

Wild onions also typically grow in different regions than normal onions do, depending on what types of tubers and bulbs were left behind other plants and weeds that could have been planted alongside them.

In your garden, wild onions grow in clusters and are frequently found near flower beds and other regions that are difficult to mow, although it can also grow right in the midst of your grass.

They grow well in shaded areas as well since they are propagated via bulb and tuber growth. They tend to thrive in lawns, sidewalks, fences, and beds with mulch.

How to Identify Wild Onion

Here are the things to look for when you are trying to identify Wild Onion in your garden or when you’re out and about.

Visual Characteristics 

Wild Onions grow in groups with hollow stems that reach up to a foot tall. The leaves on the stem are hollow and razor-sharp, and brushing against them can cause you to suffer scratches.

The flower heads of Wild Onion are usually adorned with flowers. The flowers are small, star-shaped, and pink or white in color; they tend to grow in a dome-shaped cluster. Under the earth’s surface, wild onion produces an edible bulb encrusted with a thick, leathery skin composed of hard fibers.

Instead of blossoms emerging from the foliage of the Wild Onion, you may notice tiny bulb-lets, also known as bulbils, which develop into new plants after they mature. The quantity of bulb-lets produced is partly determined by the type of soil you have.

Growth Stages

The Wild Onion typically produces flowers in late spring to early summer, between May and June.

Other Unique Traits

The easiest method to tell if a plant is a wild onion is by smelling it. The leaves and bulbs of the Wild Onion will have an intense, foul onion odor, especially when crushed.

In addition, Wild Onions are edible, although you should never eat them uncooked. The Onion leaves and bulbs contain a harmful chemical that can make you ill if ingested. Children can get gastroenteritis from wild onion, and ingesting it may cause illness in cattle, horses, and mules.

Wild onions have a more powerful flavor than ordinary onions, and their white bulbs are generally smaller. The odor of wild onion weeds also tends to be stronger than that of regular onions.

Wild onion stalks should be cooked into a soup or stew, which will help to reduce the amount of poisons in the plant.

Plants That Look Like Wild Onion

Because onions and their close relatives, like Wild Garlic and ornamental grasses, are similar in appearance to each other and to other plants, they may be mistaken for them by some individuals.

In addition, make sure you don’t collect or try to eat deathcamas, a plant that seems similar to wild onions but is far more poisonous. To distinguish between them, smell the plant: if there is no pungent onion odor, you may have collected deathcamas instead.

How to Get Rid of Wild Onion

Wild onion may appear to be a non-threatening plant, but it is still a weed and can quickly take over your yard. Since wild onion reproduces via bulb and tuber, the best approach to remove it from your yard is to dig up each bulb as soon as possible.

The easiest method to remove them is with a tiny shovel or trowel rather than your hands. Also, the bulbs easily fracture apart from one another, so this procedure could take a long time.

Pouring boiling water over the leaves and stems can also help, as does praying the plant with vinegar as soon as you notice it.

You may also apply herbicides to kill any existing plants as well as prevent future ones from growing for up to six months. Use an herbicide or weed killer containing glyphosate. Glyphosate is an herbicide that can travel through the plant’s vascular system, eliminating it from the inside. Spraying the weed killer when the leaves have just sprouted is ideal, as it stops them from developing and maturing.

Ending Thoughts

As with any weed, knowing what it looks like is the best method to keep Wild Onion off your grass. If you can identify this pesky weed early on and get rid of it before it becomes a problem, you’ll be able to avoid headaches later on.

We’d like to thank you for taking the time to read our article on Wild Onion. We hope that by summarizing everything we’ve said about Wild Onion, you’ll be better informed about this invasive plant. If you think you have found Wild Onion in your yard, there are certain characteristics that may assist in identifying it.

Contact us if you’re not sure whether a plant in your garden is Wild Onion. We want to make certain that this weed does not spread throughout your neighborhood and does no harm to your lawn or home. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and good luck with weeding!