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Allium tricoccum Aiton
Wild leek, Ramp
Synonym(s): Validallium tricoccum
USDA Symbol: altr3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Two long, glossy, oval leaves appear in early spring and wither away before the smooth, 6-10 in. flowering stalk matures. Small white flowers occur in a hemispherical, terminal cluster of creamy-white flowers; plant has a mild onion taste.
In late April, before this species comes into flower, the people of the Great Smoky Mountains gather the plants for their annual Ramp Festival. The foliage and bulbs can be used in salads and soups. Native Americans treated stings with juice from the crushed bulbs.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
W. N.B. & s. Que. to ND,
s. to New England, MD,
mts. to GA
& TN, IL
& MO Native Habitat:
upland & floodplain woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Soil Description:
Rich, mesic soils. Conditions Comments:
Grows best where there is sunny condition during early spring. Crushed foliage and bulb
have strong onion flavor and may be eaten. Some Allium species can become weedy in warmer climates.
EDIBLE PARTS: Leaves, bulbs and bulblets. Field garlic (A. vineale) is too strong for most tastes. Gather leaves during spring and fall. Gather bulbs in the second year when they are large enough to use like cultivated onions. Flower stem
bulblets are collected during the summer. Use as domestic onions, for seasoning or raw in salads. Bulbs can be used raw, boiled, pickled or for seasoning. Their strong taste can be reduced by parboiling and discarding the water. To freeze onions or garlic, one should coarsely chop, blanch two minutes, drain, pat dry and place them into plastic bags. The bulbs can also be dried for use as seasoning. Use flower
bulbs to flavor soup or for pickling. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
In late April, before flowering, the people of the Great Smoky Mountains gather these plants for their annual
Ramp Festival. The foliage and bulbs can be used in salads and soups. First Nations People treated insect stings with juice from the crushed bulbs. (Niering) Warning:
POISONOUS PARTS: All parts but causes only low toxicity if eaten; can be safely eaten in small amounts, large quantities not recommended. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Toxic Principle: Sulfides. (Niering) Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Stratified seed or division. Plant seeds 1/4 in. deep outdoors and transplant the small bulbs the following summer, setting them 1-1 1/2 in. deep. Mature bulbs produce offsets which can be divided in the summer. Plant them 1 1/2 in. deep and cover with
Seed Collection: Collect seeds as soon as they become exposed in the summer.
Seed Treatment: Two months of cold-moist stratification if stored or planted in indoor flats.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Johnstown, PAMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-12-06
Research By: TWC Staff