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FutureStarrAIs Wild Garlic Edible
Wild garlic, or wild leeks, grows all over the midwestern United States and in the Pacific Northwest and is often mistaken for ramps. It is not serious, but skin contact with the plant should be avoided. Eating wild garlic can result in nausea and diarrhea. So take the easy way out and just use a regular spring onion. With that, go wild in the field and go garlic hunting.Wild garlic (ramson) is an edible wild plant, 15 to 40 cm high when mature, with a characteristic garlic smell, especially when its leaves are crushed. Its star-shaped flowers and elongated bulb are both white. The long-stemmed, oval, pointed leaves are glossy to varying degrees. This plant often grows in large carpets in cool undergrowth, in damp shady valley bottoms or along streams. The leaves appear in February-March and the flowers from April to early June. The leaves are picked until the first flowers appear. As the name suggests, it’s the wild cousin to the garlic you use in the kitchen. Wild garlic is a leafy green bulbous perennial native to Britain that starts to appear as small shoots in February, flowers in April and goes to seed around June. Also commonly known as ramsons, but not to be confused the other edible wild allium, three-cornered leek, wild garlic grows prolifically in damp woodland. Until recently it’s been the secret of foragers and seasonally focused chefs, but in the last few years it’s become a must-eat ingredient in the spring food calendar, popping up at farmers markets and being picked commercially. It’s one of a foragers favourite finds – it grows in abundance and signifies the start of spring.
One of the joys of wild garlic is that the whole plant is edible raw and cooked. The subterranean bulb (which you need permission to pull) can be treated as a small onion or calçot, the early shoots work as salad leaves or scatter herbs, the bigger leaves can be chopped and eaten raw or cooked like spinach, the stem can be used like a thick chive, the flowers make a beautiful garnish and the seed pods add a pop to a salad or can be pickled like a caper to use later in the year. Make sure you give wild garlic a good wash in cold water before eating, it’s wild so as well as mud this will rid you of any creepy crawly surprises in your dinner. Younger leaves, flowers and seed pods can simply be added to salads and the flower stems can be used like chives. Bigger leaves can be wilted like spinach or blitzed into oil, pesto or dressing. What grows together, goes together and wild garlic has an affinity with other spring ingredients like lamb, trout, salmon and new potatoes.
Wild garlic is made up of a bulb, stem, leaves, and white, star-shaped flowers. The botanical name is Allium ursinum. It goes by any number of names, including ramsons, buckrams, bear's garlic, devil's garlic, gypsy's onions, and stinking Jenny. (This plant is believed to be a favorite of bears; hence "bear's garlic" nickname and its botanical name.) You can eat any part of the plant and use it any way you would use garlic or some of its other allium cousins. They are one of the first spring greens to pop up. These are bulbs. You take cuttings from plants. I’d hazard a guess you could get cuttings from Lillies but as a general rule, no from bulbs. I have Turks Cap Lilly (a bulb) germinating from SEED this year. I was advised they would take 7 years to flower. Get some seed from your mother’s plant in late summer and wait 5 years. Or come to my gardeen and dig it up in exchange for bag of compost tofill the hole. DAMM weed in my garden! (Source: www.eatweeds.co.uk)