The Wizards Kitchen

Ramsons / Wild Garlic

Wild garlic (ramsons, buckrams, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek, bear's garlic) grows abundantly throughout much of Europe, preferring semi-shade damp conditions under deciduous trees.


When given suitable conditions, it forms dense carpets of growth and can be quite invasive. The plant comes into growth in February and March, flowering in April, filling the air with their characteristic garlic-like aroma and then dies down completely by June.


This allows many other plants that come into growth in spring to grow in the same space.


Dig up some bulbs in the summer, once the plants have died down, and plant them into into the garden. They will be ready for harvesting from their second year of growth!. Keep the plants in check as they can be quite invasive.


Health wise 

  • Even better than onions and spring onions, probably because onions have been cultivated for thousands of years, whereas ramsons have thankfully stayed in their wild form.
  • Ramsons contain large amounts of iron, vitamin C, anti oxidants, and many other trace minerals. They are also a healing plant for high blood pressure and asthma. 
  • The young tender leaves are great in salads and sandwiches, the older leaves can be added to curry, soups, pasta sauces etc.
  • These great plants are freely available very soon in local european woodland.
  • When Harvesting its a good idea to leave the bulb in the earth and take only the leaves as the left bulb will produce new leaves the next year.
  • In a few rare cases they have been confused with a poisonous plant known as lily of the valley , lily of the valley has veins running through the leaves where Ramsons leaves are plain green.
  • Collect the leaves in a basket or cotton bag,  they can be stored in the fridge for a few days after harvesting.

Peter Carvello

January 2024