Crowpoison - Nothoscordum bivalve
Habitat This flower blooms in early spring, appearing on lawns, in meadows, or on roadsides before many other spring flowers. The plant will sometimes bloom again in the fall.
Range Its range is within Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Louisiana.
Description Other names include False Garlic and Crow poison. Leaves are quite narrow, but often quite long, from 1/8 inch wide and 4-15 inches long, and stay at the base of the plant. It grows from a bulb similar to wild onion but lacks the smell and has fewer and larger flowers. There are 6 tepals and 6 stamens on the white flower, with each individual being about 1/2 inch across, growing in loose clusters on stalks 8-16 inches tall.
Ecological Notes This plant requires sun. It is not known whether or not Crowpoison is toxic, but based on the name it is recommended that one not try and consume it. It spreads by seed, collected in May and June.
Personal Information I saw this plant near the visitor center for Jockey's Ridge in Nags Head, North Carolina.
References https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=nobi2 The is where the information about the plant was found.
Journal Articles For information on Crowpoison, please see the following journal articles:
Beal, John M. “Microsporogenesis and Chromosome Behavior in Nothoscordum Bivalve.” Botanical Gazette, May 1932, www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/334258.
This article observes changes in Crowpoison pollen and chromosome behavior during development.
Anderson, Edgar. “The Chromosome Complements of Allium Stellatum and Nothoscordum Bivalve.” Www.jstor.org, Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Sept. 1931, www.jstor.org/stable/2394032?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents.
This article approaches the idea that the genus Allium is closely related to the genus Nothoscordum, with the chief difference being that Allium lacks the garlic smell that Nothoscordum retains.
Contributed by Jonathan Ahrens - 2018