• Found in West Michigan zone 5b.
  • It tolerates cool and heat well. It emerges about the same time as chives but it does not have a single hollow stem like chives. It has an occasional leaf that comes off the stem like grass.
  • The stem is very skinny like grass, but strong and tall, it's 24" tall now.
  • Stem does not appear to be hollow.
  • Flowers look a lot like chive as they appear at the end of a stalk in a bunch when it's still cool, when temps in the mid-60s F.
  • Now the flowers are gone there are seed-like structures on top each with a long skinny chive-like green "stem". "Seeds" are brownish red.
  • When breaking a stem it does not smell like onions or garlic.
  • It grows among other grasses near a fence in full sun.
  • It comes back every year on its own even surviving harsh Michigan winters.
  • Could it be some type of reed?
  • I'm familiar with equisetum (aka rushes, horse tails), chives, onions, leeks, garlic and it's none of those. I even have top onions and it's not that either.
  • I thought it might be a corkscrew rush but it's not cork screwy (unless that happens later in summer). Besides it thrives in dry sandy soil.

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Better pic:

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  • Does it smell like onion? If not I believe it is nut sedge.
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2016 at 20:37
  • I know what nut sedge is, it's not that. Thank you.
    – Bulrush
    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:30

2 Answers 2


It's wild garlic (Allium Vineale). They're a weird-looking type of ornamental onion. Wouldn't smell any more like an onion than most of the decorative types (which is barely if at all, depending on growing conditions.)

  • Thank you. I did not know some Allium did not smell of onion.
    – Bulrush
    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:31

It is an Allium. Allium is often viviparous (the small children plants growing from the flower), and characteristic is also the horizontal spate bract (the light brown "leave" just below the flower).

I'm not so sure about the which garlic species is it. (wild garlics are difficult to determine).

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