Enum. Pl. 4: 457. 1843.

Common names: False onion false garlic
Etymology: Greek nothos, false, and scordon, garlic
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 276. Mentioned on page 55, 277.

Herbs, perennial, scapose, from bulbs. Bulbs in general appearance very similar to some species of Allium, without alliaceous odor; outer coats membranous. Leaves usually present at flowering time, basal, imbricate, sheathing basally; blade filiform to linear. Inflorescences umbellate, subtended by spathe bracts; bracts 2, membranous. Flowers fastigiate, withering-persistent; tepals 6, 2-whorled, connate proximal 1/3, 1-veined, subequal; stamens 6, adnate to tepal bases, included; filaments distinct, ± dilated basally, subulate and entire apically; anthers dorsifixed, oblong, introse; ovary superior, sessile, 3-locular; ovules several(–12); style filiform; stigma terminal, small. Fruits capsular, 3-lobed, membranous, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds black, angled [compressed or almost flat].


North America, South America.


Species ca. 19 (2 in the flora).

All species of Nothoscordum are native to the Americas. Nothoscordum gracile has become naturalized in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia; it spreads rapidly by seeds and bulblets.

Selected References



1 Leaves 4–12 mm wide; flowers fragrant; tepals connate to 1/3 their length. Nothoscordum gracile
1 Leaves 1–4(–5) mm wide; flowers not fragrant; tepals distinct or nearly so. Nothoscordum bivalve