Allium tricoccum

Botanical Name : Allium tricoccum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. tricoccum
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name : Ramp, Spring onion, Ramson, Wild leek, Wild garlic

Habitat :Allium tricoccum  is native of Europe. The name spring onion can also refer to scallions (Allium wakegi).Ramps are found across North America, from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural upland South and in the Canadian province of Quebec when they emerge in the springtime. Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America.

Description:
Allium tricoccum is a perennial plant produces basal leaves up to 8″ long and 3½” across on short petioles (usually 2 per bulb). The basal leaves are ovate-oval to ovate-elliptic, dull green, hairless, and smooth along the margins. Their petioles are reddish, hairless, and wrapped in a basal sheath. These leaves develop during the spring and wither away by early summer. During early to mid-summer, there develops a naked flowering stalk up to 1½’ tall. This stalk is terete, glabrous, and reddish to pale green; at its base, there is a papery sheath. The stalk terminates in a single rounded umbel of flowers spanning up to 2″ across. At the base of this umbel, there is a pair of deciduous bracts. Each flower is about ¼” across, consisting of 6 white to translucent white tepals, a light green to pale yellow ovary, 6 stamens with pale yellow anthers, and a single white style. At the base of each flower, there is a slender white pedicel. The blooming period occurs during the summer and lasts about 2 weeks. Both the flowers and foliage exude an onion-like odor. After the blooming period, the ovary of each flower matures into a 3-celled seed capsule; each cell contains a single seed. The root system consists of an ovoid bulb with fibrous roots at its base. Offsets often develop, producing vegetative colonies of plants.

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Cultivation:
The preference is dappled sunlight during the spring when the basal leaves develop, while during the summer considerable shade is tolerated. The soil should consist of a rich loose loam with abundant organic matter, while moisture levels should be more or less mesic. It is easiest to introduce new plants into an area by dividing and transplanting the bulbs during the fall.

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Edible Uses;
The flavor, a combination of onions and strong garlic, or as food writer Jane Snow once described it, “like fried green onions with a dash of funky feet,” is adaptable to almost any food style.

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.

Medicinal Uses:
As a spring tonic in native N. American medicine, and to treat colds, sore throat, and worms in children.  Traditionally the leaves were used in the treatment of colds and croup.  The warm juice of the leaves and bulb was used externally in the treatment of earaches.  A strong decoction of the root is emetic.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wild_leek.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wild_leek.htm
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/alliumtric.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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