Thursday, 7 May 2015

Day 185 - Resplendently Rambunctious Ramsons!

A couple of Ramsons (Allium ursinum)
Hi all today's Day 185 and a short while ago, I did a post on Spring flowers. You might think that I am doing a Part 2 - I'm not, but I was inspired by it, so I thought that I would do a flower that I saw when I was on a walk in Ripon. They are a huge part of Spring that are in almost every forest and woodland that I go to. It's lovely smelling the garlic-y smell too. Yes, you've probably guessed that today's post is about Ramsons.

So, here are the facts:
  • The best time and place to see them is from April to the end of May everywhere. The best place in the UK is in the South so if you are really determined to see them, go there. However we do get loads up here in Yorkshire!

Some flowers and their leaves.
  • They can grow to a height of 35cm but I have not seen any that tall. I would love to hear if any of you have because 35cm is pretty tall in terms of onions. :-D

  • As I said above, they're sort of onions. They are a member of the chive family which is probably why they smell so much like them.

  • The plants are hermaphrodite which means they are both male and female, and are pollinated by bees and other insects.

  • They are quite invasive and can take over your garden if you let them! But in woods they form a lovely leafy carpet.

  • Foragers love Ramsons because they are so versatile.  The flowers are edible. The leaves can be used as a herb, boiled as a vegetable and they can be used in pesto.

  • Also, the roots can be salted and eaten as a salad onion which is something they do in Russia. Finally, the bulbs are edible too and are more like garlic as we know it.

A Ramson with a fly making a meal of it.
  • However, take care when foraging for them as they can be mistaken for Lily of the Valley, Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron and Snakeshead/Adder's Root! All 3 of these are poisonous so don't risk it unless you`re sure!

  • Weirdly, there is a good example of people mistaking Lily of the Valley for Ramsons on a TV show called Outlander Se1 Ep3.

  • It is also known as wild garlic / buckram or ramps!

  • Adding to a fact above, they prefer slightly acidic soils in deciduous woods. So, to sum up, if you want to be sure to see some, go to a deciduous forest in the South of the UK with slightly acidic soils from April to May! :-)
Here are some links to some more information:

Wikipedia - Ramsons

The Wildlife Trusts - Ramsons

Hope you enjoyed,


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