One of the most over-harvested edible native plants, the wild leek is a treasure for foodies and chefs. Unfortunately, due to its slow growing nature and pervasive harvesting the wild leek is becoming much harder to find in the wild.
Wild leeks, or Ramps, have smooth green foliage and produce tiny sprigs of creamy flowers in the spring and hard, glossy, black seeds that are perched upon the seed heads. That hard seed takes a few warm/cold season cycles to germinate, contributing to the slow population growth.
According to the people that know things, the maximum sustainable harvest for the wild leek is 10% once every ten years! Proper and considerate harvesting includes only harvesting one or two leaves from a few plants, not taking the entire bulb. The moral of the story is, let the wild leeks stay wild, plant and harvest your own!
Use: The leaves and bulbs are both edible raw or cooked. These taste like a mixture between garlic and onion. A real gourmet treat.
Source: grown from seed originally from Minnesota. Prairie Moon Nursery.
Photos courtesy of Dan Wilder
Allium tricoccum (Wild leeks)
SIZE AND POT INFORMATION:
More details coming in May
type: herbaceous perennial sun needs: part sun/part shade, shade water needs: average height: 8" plant spacing: 4/sq ft bloom time: June, July bloom color: white
good plant companions
wild ginger, spring beauty, Dutchman's breeches, trillium, columbine
edible parts: Leaves, bulbs and bulblets deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof)