Allium vineale / Kraailook

Een wilde looksoort. Allium komt mogelijk van het Griekse aglis (knoflook), ontstaan uit glis (iets kroms of rond), dat verwijst naar de bol van de looksoorten. Of afkomstig van het Keltische all (warm, scherp of brandend), dat verwijst naar de smaak van de plant. Vineale betekent " wijnachtig of wijnkleurig"

Food Chem. 2013 Jan 1;136(1):34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.07.086. Epub 2012 Jul 27. Studies on the antioxidant potential of flavones of Allium vineale isolated from its water-soluble fraction. Demirtas I1, Erenler R, Elmastas M, Goktasoglu A.

The aim of this work was to examine the chemical constituents and antioxidant potential of water-soluble fractions from the commonly consumed vegetable, Allium vineale. The water-soluble fraction, containing phenolic compounds, was extracted with ethyl acetate to obtain flavonoids which were separated and purified by repeated column chromatography over Sephadex LH-20, RP C18 and silica gel. The isolated compounds were identified according to their physicochemical properties and spectral data (UV, HPLC-TOF/MS, (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR and 2D NMR). Three flavonoids were isolated and identified as chrysoeriol-7-O-[2″-O-E-feruloyl]-β-d-glucoside (1), chrysoeriol (2), and isorhamnetin-3-β-d-glucoside (3). Antioxidant studies of the aqueous extract and three isolated compounds, 1, 2, 3, were undertaken and they were found to have significant antioxidant activity. Antioxidant activities were evaluated for total antioxidant activity by the ferric thiocyanate method, ferric ion (Fe(3+)) reducing antioxidant power assay (FRAP), ferrous ion (Fe(2+)) metal chelating activity, and DPPH free radical-scavenging activity. The water-soluble ethyl acetate and methanol extraction methods were also compared using HPLC-TOF/MS.

Allium vineale - L.

Common Name Crow Garlic, Wild garlic, Compact onion, False Garlic, Wild, Onion

Family Alliaceae

Physical Characteristics

Allium vineale is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 8-Oct It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Allium vineale Crow Garlic, Wild garlic, Compact onion, False Garlic, Wild, Onion

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves - raw or cooked[5, 177]. Rather stringy, they are used as a garlic substitute[2, 12, K]. The leaves are available from late autumn until the following summer, when used sparingly they make a nice addition to the salad bowl[8, 183, K]. Bulb - used as a flavouring[105, 161, 177]. Rather small, with a very strong flavour and odour[183]. The bulbs are 10 - 20mm in diameter[200]. Bulbils - raw or cooked. Rather small and fiddly, they have a strong garlic-like flavour[K].

Medicinal Use

Antiasthmatic; Blood purifier; Carminative; Cathartic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stimulant; Vasodilator.

The whole plant is antiasthmatic, blood purifier, carminative, cathartic, diuretic, expectorant, hypotensive, stimulant and vasodilator[20, 257]. A tincture is used to prevent worms and colic in children, and also as a remedy for croup[257]. The raw root can be eaten to reduce blood pressure and also to ease shortness of breath[257]. Although no other specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system[K].

Other Uses


The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles[20]. The juice of the plant can be rubbed on exposed parts of the body to repel biting insects, scorpions etc[257].

Cultivation details

Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. This species is a pernicious weed of grassland in Britain[1], spreading freely by means of its bulbils[203]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].


Plants do not need any encouragement, they are more than capable of propagating themselves. Bulbils are produced in abundance in the summer and are the main means by which the plant spreads.

Links / References

  • [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

  • [1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).

  • [2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.

  • [5]Mabey. R. Food for Free.

  • Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.

  • [8]Ceres. Free for All.Edible wild plants in Britain. Small booklet, nothing special.

  • [12]Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder.A handy pocket guide.

  • [17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

  • [18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.

  • [20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.Fairly good.

  • [54]Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds.Interesting reading.

  • [105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.

  • [161]Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.

  • [177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.

  • [183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.

  • [200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

  • [201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.A well produced and very readable book.

  • [203]Davies. D. Alliums. The Ornamental Onions.

  • Covers about 200 species of Alliums. A very short section on their uses, good details of their cultivation needs.

  • [233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden PlantsA concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.

  • [257]Moerman. D. Native American EthnobotanyVery comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Uit G. Oeder.

Allium vineale, L. (wijnberg bewonend) Bladen zijn cilindrisch en glad . Een kleine ronde, purperrode bloemvorm met bolletjes en van een licht roze kleur met een groene keel in juli. Het kruid van zware klei en wijnheuvels groeit stijf en hard in het koren en is al eeuwen gehaat. Geeft een onaangename geur aan boter en melk als de koeien ervan eten. Komt uit Europa tot N. Azië.

Naam, etymologie. De crawan leac: kraaienlook, is zonder twijfel van de Angelsaksische boer. Het is een kraai, een waardeloos kruid. Kraailook, wilde look, hondslook, boerenlook, wilde knoflook, wijngaardlook en wilde uien, Engelse crow garlic, crow onion en stag’s garlic, Duitse Krajelook, Rebenlauch en Hundsknoblauch bij Bock. Weinberg Lauch.

(Dodonaeus) ‘Beide deze kruiden (met Allium ursinum) worden in het Latijn Allium silvestre genoemd en in het Grieks Scorodon agrion, dat is wilde look. Maar het eerste geslacht noem ik Allium sylvestre tenuifolium, dat is wilde look met smalle bladeren, hoewel dat het in Brabant met de naam van wilde look alleen bekend is, in Hoogduitsland Wilder Knoblauch en ook Feld lauch of Feld Knoblauch, in Frankrijk aux sauvage of ail sauvage, in Spanje aio salvago, in Italië aglio salvatico en in het Engels wilde garlyke. Dioscorides noemt het in het Grieks Ophioscorodon, dat is Anguinum Allium of slangenlook, maar andere Grieken noemen het Elaphoscorodon, dat is Cervinum Allium of hertenlook’. Dat slaat beter op Allium vineale, zie daar, omdat het onder het koren groeit.

Lobel:’ Wilde look met dunne bladeren. In Latijn Allium sylvestre tenuifolium. In Hoogduits Wilder knoblauch. In Frans Ail sauvage. In Spaans Aio salvage. In Engels Wilde Garlyke.

Dit wilde look groeit in koude of hete beemden en ook in magere akkers overal tegen de dank op sommige plaatsen van de pachters zoals in Brabant en Frankrijk. Want als het onder de rogge of tarwe groeit zo krijgen ze daarvan een kwade reuk en smaak die ook later behoudt het meel en brood. De bol is klein en langwerpig, niet gemaakt van klisters maar niet dan een enkel en effen bolletje die zichzelf verspreidt somtijds met sommige aangegroeide kleinere bolletjes. Het heeft weinig biesachtige bladertjes aan een dunne tere steel van dertig cm hoog en is van bloem en zaad de anderen niet ongelijk.’

Het gebruik was vroeger zo. (Dodonaeus)’De eerste soort van wilde look met dunne bladeren groeit op vele plaatsen tegen de dank van de pachters zoals in Brabant en Frankrijk want als het onder de rogge of tarwe groeit krijgen ze er een kwade reuk of smaak van wat ze ook naderhand behouden met het meel en brood dat men er van maalt of maakt, als Lobel betuigt. In gebreke van tam look mogen de wortels van wild look soms gebruikt worden en het is wel zo goed gegeten tegen de beten van de slangen en venijnige dieren. Het laat plassen en verwekt de maandstonden en het verdeelt de grove en taaie vochtigheden en opent de verstoppingen zeer sterk en daardoor laat het dikwijls water maken als dat belet wordt door verzameling van enige grove vochtigheden. Maar het is zo zeer heet dat als het pleistervormig ergens opgelegd wordt het vel kwetst of open breekt en is wat dat aangaat veel scherper, heter en droger dan het tamme look.’