POISONOUS PARTS: All parts but causes only low toxicity if eaten; can be safely eaten in small amounts, large quantities not recommended. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Toxic Principle: Sulfides.
EDIBLE PARTS: Leaves, bulbs and bulblets.
The plant bears 2-6 bulbs on a short rhizome in rich deciduous woods where there is plenty of spring sun. The lance-like leaves disappear when the flower is in bloom. (Flora of North America and Robert Freckmann Herbarium)
Seeds are borne in a three-lobed capsule.
Field garlic (A. vineale) is too strong for most tastes. Gather leaves during spring and fall. DO NOT PULL UP THE ROOT OF THE PLANT!
These plants are very sensitive to harvest, and a seed takes 9 years to mature into an adult plant. Always cut the wild leek at ground level, leaving the root and bulb to allow the plant to regenerate.
Flower stem bulblets can be collected during the summer.
Use as domestic onions, for seasoning or raw in salads. The white part can be used raw, boiled, pickled or for seasoning. Their strong taste can be reduced by parboiling and discarding the water.
To freeze onions or garlic, one should coarsely chop, blanch two minutes, drain, pat dry and place them into plastic bags.
The bulbs can also be dried for use as seasoning. Use flower bulbs to flavor soup or for pickling. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
In late April, before flowering, the people of the Great Smoky Mountains gather these plants for their annual Ramp Festival. First Nations People treated insect stings with juice from the crushed bulbs. (Niering)
This species is deer resistant. (Evergreen)
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