Louisiana Home Lawn Series: False garlic

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header lawn seriesjpgFalse garlic


False garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve [L.] Britt.), or crow poison, is a cool-season perennial weed common throughout Louisiana. It has grasslike leaves but is actually a member of the lily family. False garlic produces flowers in the fall and early spring and can spread through seed as well as through underground bulbs. False garlic closely resembles wild garlic; however, false garlic has larger flowers and does not produce the characteristic garlic odor.


False garlic has bright green, grasslike leaves, which are slender and flattened. Leaves emerge from the base of the plant and can grow 12 or more inches tall. Clusters of flowers branch out from the top of rounded stalks extending from the base of the plant. Flowers have six white petals and a yellow center. Bulbs are produced around the roots of the plant. Note that both the plant and bulbs are odorless. False garlic typically grows in small bunches. For more information on false garlic identification and characterization, visit the USDA Plants Database at https://plants.usda.gov.

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Grasslike leaves

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White flower

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Bunched growth habit

Cultural Control Practices

The best way to prevent or reduce weed encroachment is to maintain a healthy lawn through proper fertilization and soil pH management and regular mowing. Properly maintaining a lawn through these cultural practices promotes dense and vigorous turfgrass, allowing it to better compete with weeds. Below are the recommended mowing heights and nitrogen fertility rates recommended for each turfgrass species. In addition to these lawn care practices, manual removal of weeds may also be necessary.

TurfgrassMowing HeightNitrogen Rate (per 1,000 ft2 per year
Bermudagrass1 - 2 inchesUp to 3 pounds
Centipedegrass1 - 2.5 inchesUp to 2 pounds
St. Augustinegrass
2.5 - 3 inchesUp to 3 pounds
Zoysia1 - 2.5 inchesUp to 2 pounds

Chemical Control Practices

In addition to cultural practices, herbicide applications may be required to achieve effective weed control. False garlic is a bulb-producing plant that is difficult to control in turfgrass. Herbicides that contain metsulfuron have been most effective in LSU AgCenter weed control trials. However, it may take several years of herbicide applications to completely eradicate this weed.

When applying any type of herbicide, you must follow the manufacturer’s labeled directions. For more information regarding pesticides for turfgrass, please reference the Louisiana Suggested Chemical Weed Control Guide at the LSU AgCenter website, www.lsuagcenter.com.

St. AugustinegrassCentipedegrassZoysiaBermudagrass
Postemergence Herbicide Active Ingredients

metsulfuron + dicamba
metsulfuron + sulfentrazone

For information regarding weed identification and control options please contact your local LSU AgCenter Extension Parish Office. To find your local LSU AgCenter Extension Parish Office visit www.lsuagcenter.com.

1/3/2020 4:01:48 PM
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