Alert: Email will not work this weekend and some downtime expected. Learn more

Allium tricoccum

Allium tricoccum

''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.
Allium tricoccum A colony of Allium tricoccum in a Sugar Maple Forest. Allium tricoccum,Geotagged,Minnesota,Spring,United States,forest,sugar maple,wild leeks

Appearance

''Allium tricoccum'' is a bulb-forming perennial with broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems, and a scallion-like stalk and bulb. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. The flower stalk appears after the leaves have died back, unlike the similar ''Allium ursinum'', in which leaves and flowers can be seen at the same time. Ramps grow in close groups strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil.
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,Geotagged,Spring,United States,allium,common ramps,ramps,ramson,spring onion,wild garlic,wild leek,wood leek

Naming

According to West Virginia University botanist Earl L. Core, the widespread use in southern Appalachia of the term "ramps" derives from Old English:

The name ramps is one of the many dialectical variants of the English word ramson, a common name of the European bear leek , a broad-leaved species of garlic much cultivated and eaten in salads, a plant related to our American species. The Anglo-Saxon ancestor of ramson was ''hramsa'', and ''ramson'' was the Old English plural, the –n being retained as in oxen, children, etc. The word is cognate with ''rams'', in German, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian, and with the Greek ''kromuon'', garlic [...]. Wright’s ''English Dialect Dictionary'' lists as variants ''rame, ramp, ramps, rams, ramsden, ramsey, ramsh, ramsies, ramsy, rommy'', and ''roms'', mostly from northern England and Scotland.
Allium tricoccum Allium tricoccum in a Sugar Maple Forest. Allium tricoccum,Geotagged,Minnesota,Spring,United States,forest,sugar maple

Status

In Canada, ramps are considered rare delicacies. Since the growth of ramps is not as widespread there as in Appalachia and because of destructive human practices, ramps are a threatened species in Quebec. ''Allium tricoccum'' is a protected species under Quebec legislation. A person may have ramps in his or her possession outside the plant's natural environment, or may harvest it for the purposes of personal consumption in an annual quantity not exceeding 50 bulbs or 50 plants, provided those activities do not take place in a park within the meaning of the National Parks Act. The protected status also prohibits any commercial transactions of ramps; this prevents restaurants from serving ramps as is done in the United States. Failure to comply with these laws is punishable by a fine. However, the law does not always stop poachers, who find a ready market across the border in Ontario , where ramps may be legally harvested and sold.

Ramps are considered a species of "special concern" for conservation in Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. They are also considered "commercially exploited" in Tennessee. Ramp festivals may encourage harvest in unsustainable quantities.It is listed as a special concern in Maine and Rhode Island, and as a special concern and commercially exploited in Tennessee. ...hieroglyph snipped...
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. 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. Allium,Allium tricoccum,Geotagged,Spring,United States,ramps

Evolution

Chicago received its name from a dense growth of ramps near Lake Michigan in Illinois Country observed in the 17th century. The Chicago River was referred to by the plant's indigenous name, according to explorer Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, and by his comrade, the naturalist and diarist Henri Joutel. The plant, called ''shikaakwa'' in the language of local native tribes, was once thought to be ''Allium cernuum'', the nodding wild onion, but research in the early 1990s showed the correct plant was the ramp.

The ramp has strong associations with the folklore of the central Appalachian Mountains. Fascination and humor have fixated on the plant's extreme pungency. Jim Comstock, editor and co-owner of the ''Richwood News Leader'', introduced ramp juice into the printer's ink of one issue as a practical joke, invoking the ire of the U.S. Postmaster General.

The inhabitants of Appalachia have long celebrated spring with the arrival of the ramp, believing it to be a tonic capable of warding off many winter ailments. Indeed, ramp's vitamin and mineral content did bolster the health of people who went without many green vegetables during the winter....hieroglyph snipped...
Wild Leek The flower stalk for wild leeks doesn't appear until the leaves die back. The flowering part consists of small white flowers occurring in a spherical-shape at the top of a leafless stem. The plant was approximately 20cm tall.

The plant has a mild onion flavor. The foliage and bulbs can be used in cooking. Additionally, Native Americans used parts of this plant medicinally.  Allium tricoccum,Geotagged,Summer,United States,Wild Leek,leek

Uses

''Allium tricoccum'' is popular in the cuisines of the rural uplands of its native region. It is regarded as an early spring vegetable with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor. Ramps also have a growing popularity in restaurants throughout North America.

The plant's flavor, a combination of onions and strong garlic, is adaptable to numerous cooking styles. In central Appalachia, ramps are most commonly fried with potatoes in bacon fat or scrambled with eggs and served with bacon, pinto beans and cornbread. Ramps can also be pickled or used in soups and other foods in place of onions and garlic.

⤷ The community of Richwood, West Virginia, holds the annual "Feast of the Ramson" in April. Sponsored by the National Ramp Association, the "Ramp Feed" brings thousands of ramp aficionados from considerable distances to sample foods featuring the plant. During the ramp season , restaurants in the town serve a wide variety of foods containing ramps.
⤷ The city of Elkins, West Virginia, hosts the "Ramps and Rails Festival" during the last weekend in April of each year. This festival features a cook-off and ramp-eating contests, and is attended by several hundred people each year.
⤷ The town of Cosby, Tennessee, bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has held the largest and one of the oldest ramp festivals in the United States, the "Cosby Ramp Festival," on the first weekend in May since 1954. The festival has played host to as many as 30,000 visitors in years past, has been attended by ex-President Harry Truman, and has featured such notable musical acts as Tennessee Ernie Ford, Eddy Arnold, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, and Brenda Lee. Besides the food, heritage music, dancing, and adulation of the ramp, each year a young woman is crowned "Maid of Ramps".
⤷ The community of Flag Pond, Tennessee, hosts its annual Ramp Festival on the second Saturday each May. The festival features a wide variety of ramp-inspired foods, and includes music from an assortment of Appalachian groups. Hundreds of people attend the festival each year.
⤷ The community of Whitetop, Virginia, holds its annual ramp festival the third weekend in May. It is sponsored by the Mount Rogers volunteer fire department and features local music from Wayne Henderson and other bands, along with a barbecued chicken feast complete with fried potatoes and ramps and local green beans. A ramp-eating contest is held for children and adults.
⤷ An annual ramp convention in Haywood County, North Carolina has drawn as many as 4,000 participants a year since its inception ''circa'' 1925.
⤷ The community of Huntington, WV holds an annual ramp festival referred to as Stink Fest. It is hosted by The Wild Ramp, an indoor farmers market.
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.

Habitat: Small cluster of ramps growing in a deciduous forest. 

Ramps are species of special concern in numerous states, and there are regulations on collecting. 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. Allium tricoccum,Geotagged,Spring,United States,ramps

Cultural

Chicago received its name from a dense growth of ramps near Lake Michigan in Illinois Country observed in the 17th century. The Chicago River was referred to by the plant's indigenous name, according to explorer Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, and by his comrade, the naturalist and diarist Henri Joutel. The plant, called ''shikaakwa'' in the language of local native tribes, was once thought to be ''Allium cernuum'', the nodding wild onion, but research in the early 1990s showed the correct plant was the ramp.

The ramp has strong associations with the folklore of the central Appalachian Mountains. Fascination and humor have fixated on the plant's extreme pungency. Jim Comstock, editor and co-owner of the ''Richwood News Leader'', introduced ramp juice into the printer's ink of one issue as a practical joke, invoking the ire of the U.S. Postmaster General.

The inhabitants of Appalachia have long celebrated spring with the arrival of the ramp, believing it to be a tonic capable of warding off many winter ailments. Indeed, ramp's vitamin and mineral content did bolster the health of people who went without many green vegetables during the winter....hieroglyph snipped...

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassMonocots
OrderAsparagales
FamilyAmaryllidaceae
GenusAllium
SpeciesA. tricoccum