Canadian Garlic (Allium canadense)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Canadian Garlic
Allium canadense
Alliaceae

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[20]. The plant can be rubbed on exposed parts of the body to protect them from insect bites and the bites of scorpions, lizards etc[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant is antiasthmatic, carminative, cathartic, diuretic, expectorant and stimulant[257]. A tincture is used to prevent worms and colic in children, and also as a remedy for croup[257].

    Although no other specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system[K].

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – raw or cooked[46, 61, 62, 177]. It can be used as a vegetable, or as a flavouring in soups and stews, and can also be pickled[2]. The bulb is up to 30mm in diameter, it is crisp, mild and with a pleasant flavour[183]. Used as a leek substitute according to one report[22], it is a garlic substitute according to others[55, 159, K].

    Leaves – raw or cooked[55, 62, 177]. A delicious mild flavour, they are available from early spring until the autumn[K]. They make a very acceptable salad and can also be used as a greens or as a flavouring in cooked foods[K].

    Flowers – raw. A little bit stronger flavour than the leaves, especially as the seeds begin to form, they can be used as a flavouring and garnish on salads[K].

    Some forms of this species produce bulbils. These top-setting bulbils make a fine onion flavoured pickle[62, 105, 183]. They are said to have a superior flavour to other pickled onions[2].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[76].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required. Bulbils planted in situ when ripe.
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1]. A moisture loving plant according to another report[42]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. Bulbs grow to a good size under cultivation[183]. Some forms of this species produce many bulbils and are considered to be a pernicious weed in some areas of America[159], there is some risk that they could spread aggressively in Britain[203]. A. canadense mobilense. (Reg.)F.M.Ownb. is a form that does not produce bulbils and is much better behaved[200]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
N. America – New Brunswick to Minnesota, south to Florida and Colorado

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.