Project 1: Knowing
Wild garlic and its characteristics
My project is about wild garlic and its growth stages during the vegetation period from February to June.
The plant is usually found in damp areas of woodland or riverbanks, but can easily thrive in urban areas, too – you may well see some growing in your garden. You’ll be able to identify the flowers by their strong, distinctive garlicky smell.
Wild garlic is part of the allium family (lat. allium ursinum), along with onions, leeks and (unsurprisingly) garlic. Used in cooking for hundreds of years for its fragrant flavour and antibacterial properties, wild garlic is the perfect representation of spring. At the end of February litte green leaves grow out of an oblong, slim bulb, which is located just below the surface. Within the first year wild garlic can reach a size of max. 10 cm. In the following years the plants get bigger and bigger until they are full grown. The maximum height is 30 cm.
Wild garlic needs about three years to be full grown, which means: the older it is, the bigger it gets.
The graphics show the growth stages during three years until the garlic is mature.
The manner of growing is called nest, which means the condensed accumulation of plants. Every year, new daughter plants growing around the adult plant. Consequently the covered area gets bigger with every following year.
Last but not least you should know, that wild garlic is one of the few things that are safe to forage without much knowledge: While the plants do look similar to the toxic Lily of the Valley, simply rubbing a leaf between your fingers and smelling it, will tell you whether you’ve picked the correct plant or not. Second wild garlic leaves are a little white at their bottom, the others aren’t. At the picture you can see the wild garlic leaf on the left side; Lily of the Valley is on the right side.