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Wild Garlic

Edible Edible Spring Spring Summer Summer

From as early as February through to June, Ramsons make up a large part of our diet here at Wild Food UK and are used in pestos, pancakes, soups, stews, vegetable rissoles and anything you would normally use garlic in.

Hedgerow Type
Common Name 2 Ramsons
Common Name 3 Broad Leaved Garlic
Common Name 4 Wood Garlic
Common Name 5 Bear Garlic
Latin Name Allium ursinum
Season Start Feb
Season End Jun
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Has long, broadly lanceolate, green leaves with a single main vein, although when young the leaves are narrower.

Flowers

Globe shaped groups of tiny white flowers on the end of the stem.

Flower Buds

Green sheaths over the flower.

Seed Pods

The seeds are contained in small, triple seed pods in the middle of the flower. These start green and can be eaten, by the time they have turned black, they aren’t poisonous but will break your teeth.

Roots

Has a fairly fine root system, not really worth collecting.

Habitat

Damp, acidic, deciduous woodland particularly near to streams and damp ditches.

Possible Confusion

With its pungent smell its very hard to confuse this plant with anything else although it does look like Lily of the Valley, pictured, which is poisonous but does not smell of garlic.

The main thing to look out for when collecting wild garlic is not to grab handfuls of the stuff but to gather each leaf individually, as Arum not only looks a similar when young but also grows where Wild Garlic grows, and any number of other nasty plants that may be lurking amoungst it.

Smell

Pungently garlic.

Taste

The strong and hot garlic taste is lessened by cooking and age but the really hot garlic ‘bombs’ are the flower buds and young seeds.

Frequency

Common.

Collecting

The whole plant can be used raw or cooked and can usually be found in great swathes making collecting it quick and easy.

It is best to leave the roots/bulbs alone as the leaves are tastier and collecting a few leaves will not damage the plant too much.

Medicinal Uses

This plant is known to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and like bulb garlic has more medicinal claims than space to print them.

Other Facts

Ramsons are a wild relative of chives and are always a good sign of ancient woodland.

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