Common Ramps - Allium tricoccum
Ramps are a highly-prized wild edible that have a funky garlic flavor. They have broad, smooth-edged green leaves that are 10-30 cm long and have parallel veins. Two-three leaves will grow from each white bulb on stalks that are tinged with reddish purple. The bulb has white, stringy roots coming out of it. White flowers emerge on an unbranched, smooth stalk that emerges from the center of the bulb. Eventually, the flowers will produce black seeds.
I found a large group of ramps growing on the bank of a stream in a deciduous forest. Ramps are species of special concern in numerous states, and there are regulations on collecting (none in NY where I spotted these). When foraging is allowed, it is advisable to never collect more than 10% of a patch. Furthermore, taking the entire plant is a really bad idea because ramps are very slow reproducers as they mostly spread through perennial bulb division. You should always strive to leave the bulbs intact, and only collect one leaf per plant.
**Note: I only dug up one ramp as I was teaching my kids about wild edibles. The patch was large, and the species is not regulated in New York. Normally, I would never dig up the entire plant or take the bulb.
''Allium tricoccum'' is a North American species of wild onion widespread across eastern Canada and the eastern United States. Many of the English names are also used for other ''Allium'' species, particularly the similar ''Allium ursinum'' which is native to Europe and Asia.