Allium tricoccum burdickii, Ramps (Wild Leeks)

Allium tricoccum var. burdickii in its natural habitat

Ramps, or Wild Leeks, have become all the rage over the last twenty years, to the point at which you are likely to find them at upmarket grocery stores and cooperatives. There is always the risk that those you buy are harvested in the wild and for those of us who'd rather not worry about such things, well, we consider growing them ourselves. I have yet to see wild ramp species grown in a conventional garden or on a farm. That is not to say it cannot be done. Shelterwood is working on propagation with hopes to be able to offer some from time to time. If you are interested in Allium tricoccum, reach out, and I will keep you informed as to our progress. 

There are two generally recognized forms of A. tricoccum: the red stem and the white stem varieties. The red is, by far, the most commonly found, and is listed as Allium tricoccum and the white listed as A. tricoccum var. burdickii or sometimes its own species, Allium burdickii

Shelterwood's Allium tricoccum were sourced from our own building site and from maintained trails on our property. My experience is that they do not like transplanting when they are easily found -in spring. Seed is slow to germinate, and the little ones are slow to mature. For anything more than an exciting specimen in your woodland garden, your best bet is to create the ideal environment for them in your woods by removing buckthorn, garlic mustard, etc., purchasing seed from reputable source such as Prairie Moon, broadcast seed, cross fingers and become the model of patience.

Blooms: white, June into July

Height: 6 to 12 inches

Conditions: shade, moist-medium to medium soils

An Allium tricoccum meadow in southeastern Minnesota

The red-stemmed variety, Allium tricoccum.