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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.<br />
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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.<br />
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**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,Geotagged,Spring,United States,allium,common ramps,ramps,ramson,spring onion,wild garlic,wild leek,wood leek Click/tap to enlarge

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.

    comments (4)

  1. Did you pick any for dinner?! <3 Posted 9 months ago
    1. I didn't...It was a fair-sized patch; but, honestly, I felt guilty digging up this entire plant as I was taught that this is a big no-no. So, wracked with guilt, I punished myself by not taking any. I may be a *bit* overly sensitive when it comes to nature, haha. Posted 9 months ago
  2. Ahh I'm just reading your description now (you had not finished editing before). I wasn't aware they were regulated up your way. I can understand you not taking them despite not being regulated in NY. They have begun regulating them in some areas down south as well. The ramp festivals throughout the Southern Appalachians do not help at all! Posted 9 months ago, modified 9 months ago
    1. Yep, they are uncommon and even rare in many New England states. I think they are threatened and heavily regulated in parts of Canada as well. I was taught to harvest small quantities by just cutting off one leaf, and to only take bulbs in the fall - if there are large enough quantities. A locally abundant patch doesn't mean it's okay to forage too many as other locations will be more sparse. Posted 9 months ago

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''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.

Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

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Uploaded Jul 10, 2018. Captured May 14, 2018 13:09 in 553 Lake Rd, Pine Plains, NY 12567, USA.
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • f/13.0
  • 1/256s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm