Allium tricoccum Aiton
Validallium tricoccum (Aiton) Small
Wild leek, ramp, spring onion, ramson, wild garlic
Wild leeks are European natives, now found in eastern North America.
Identification: With the garlicky smell and an oniony flavor, wild leeks are choice finds for foragers in search of wild edibles. Plants are up to 18" (45 cm) tall. Bulbs are oval or conical in shape. Leaves are somewhat grasslike in appearance, 6-12" (15-30 cm) long and 1¾-4" (5-10 cm) wide, dull green, with smooth margins and veins parallel to the long dimension. Stems are deep or reddish purple. A hemispherical flowerhead about 1½" (3.8 cm) across rises on a single smooth stalk above the leaves, and contains about 15-35 ¼" (6.3 mm) white flowers, each with three petals and three sepals. Glossy black seeds about less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) in diameter.
Edibility: Bulbs and young leaves may be eaten raw or cooked. Over-enthusiastic picking has significantly reduced their populations, however. If you find a healthy supply of them, you might want to try Salmon with Spring Leeks in a Wild Mushroom Wine Sauce.
Allium tricoccum on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site
Allium tricoccum on Missouriplants.com
Allium tricoccum on Ontario Wildflowers
Allium tricoccum at Illinois Wildflowers
Allium tricoccum on theforagerpress.com
Allium tricoccum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.