What's this flowering plant called?
February 18, 2017 1:51 PM   Subscribe

What's this flowering plant called? It's short, has thin grass-like leaves, and seems to pop up every spring in the middle of Alabama (Zone 8a).
posted by gregr to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
Looks like a snowdrop (=Galanthus) to me. There's twenty or so species and this isn't quite like the one in my front yard (British Columbia) but still recognizable.
posted by CCBC at 2:01 PM on February 18, 2017

Looks like a crocus.
posted by dilettante at 2:02 PM on February 18, 2017

Could it be three cornered leek? Looks a lot like an edible plant that grows in Northern California and which someone I knew who grew up in Georgia referred to as "spring onions." Do the leaves smell oniony when you crush them?
posted by contraption at 2:10 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Three cornered leek looks much more like it. i can't find any crocus or snowdrop varieties that have an umbelliferous compound flower like that.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:13 PM on February 18, 2017

Possibly Nothoscordum bivalve, which is native to Alabama. It has the right type of flowerheads, and strappy leaves (as opposed to allium leaves, which are typically hollow and onion-scented).
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 2:15 PM on February 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

I picked one of the leaves and rolled it between my fingers for a moment, and it did not smell like an onion.
posted by gregr at 2:42 PM on February 18, 2017

I agree with brushtailedphascogale. It looks like a false garlic-the common name of the linked species. Not smelling like onion is actually correct for this species-hence the "false" part of the common name!
posted by shrabster at 2:52 PM on February 18, 2017

@shrabster yeah, I'm leaning towards brushtailedphascogale's answer; it not smelling like an onion contributes to my agreement.
posted by gregr at 3:02 PM on February 18, 2017

It looks somewhat like an ornithogalum, but that Nothoscordum looks like a better bet.

It is not a crocus nor a galanthus.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:15 PM on February 18, 2017

Looks like a type of rain lily to me. They were all over Austin. As you might guess from the name, they appear after a good rain.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:53 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rain lilies feature single flowers atop their own long stems; gregr's image shows a series of flowerheads and short stems attached to the top of a longer stem.
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 6:53 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maybe it is a Star Of Bethlehem. Here.
posted by Oyéah at 7:37 PM on February 18, 2017

We call them crow poison, or false garlic. They look a lot like garlic but are not in that family. Crow poison is Nothoscordum bivalve.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 10:59 AM on February 19, 2017

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