3. Wild Onion (Allium spp.)
There are roughly a dozen different species growing in North America that fall under the "onion" category. Some species even grow in the dead of winter, favoring open ground and sunny conditions. Look in fields and meadows for some species. Look no further than your yard for others. Some of these species are closer to garlic in appearance and flavor. Some are closer to chives. The critical factor that all these species share is their membership to the allium genus. This group of plants is edible by humans and generally very tasty. But don't just wolf down everything shaped like an onion. The broader family they belong to is the lily family, which contains some toxic members. Make sure the plant really is an onion or garlic by looking for the classic shapes of a bulbous root and a rounded stem of onion and garlic. Once it passes the visual test, go to the scratch and sniff phase of testing. Scratch the bulb, or bruise the green tops, and you should immediately smell that familiar oniony odor. If a few tears well up in your eyes, all the better. Use these raw or cooked, just like their store-bought relatives.