Backyard foraging #3 - Ramsons

Allium ursinum, Wild Garlic

Wild garlic, a member of the onion family so has (as you would expect given the name) a garlic flavour. Leaves can be eaten raw, cooked and also used to create a pesto. Bulbs and flowers are also edible (but bear in mind pollinators and sustainability again).

Ramsons also resemble Lily of the Valley, which is poisionous. So, to make sure you are eating ramsons:

  • Smell – Ramson leaves have a garlic aroma

  • Stem – each Ramson leaf has its own stem

  • Bulb – Ramsons have a bulb, where as Lily of the Valley has roots

Ramsons are believed to have antiviral properties, even more so than garlic. Also useful for coughing and digestive problems.

Ramson in flower

Uprooted Ramsons with root (from the garden)

Ramson & Spinach omlette

Ramson trivia

The name of the local Lancashire town of Ramsbottom may be derived from wild garlic, rather than the anatomy of a sheep. Its likely that it refers to the place of the Ramsons, at the valley bottom. The origins of Upper Ramsbottom however, is still up for debate.

See our do's and don'ts of foraging in the Backyard foraging #1 - Dandelions.

For more foraging inspiration see Backyard foraging #2 - Wavy Bittercress


At the risk of sounding officious, Realm and the author can take no responsibility for any actions inspired by this post. So research, research, research; and stay safe!


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