Ramsons



Ramsons (Allium ursinum), also known as wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, buckrams or bear's garlic, is a wild relative of chives. Ramsons is a favorite for brown bear and wild boar.

Ramsons grow in deciduous woodlands with moist soils, and slightly acidic conditions. The stem is triangular-shaped, with leaves that are similar to those of the lily of the valley. Ramsons flower before the deciduous trees leaf in the spring, and fill the air with their garlic-like scent. The flower-head contains no bulbils, only flowers.

Ramsons leaves are edible, and are often used as salad, spice, or boiled as a vegetable, in soup, or as a replacement ingredient for basil in pesto dish. In Russia, the triangular-shaped stem can be preserved with salt and eaten as a salad. Ramsons bulbs and flowers are also edible and very tasty.

Butter made by milk produced by the cows fed on Ramsons leaves has slight garlic taste. It is very popular in the 19th century Switzerland.

Ramsons leaves are similar to those of lily of the valley, Colchicum autumnale and Arum maculatum, which are poisonous and possibly deadly. A good method of positively identify Ramsons is to grind the leaves between one's finger's, which should produce a garlic-like smell.

Ramsons in woodlandsRamsons in woodlands
Author: Sannse (GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Flowering RamsonsFlowering Ramsons
Author: Peter Facey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Flowering RamsonsFlowering Ramsons
Author: Thomas Pusch (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Flowering RamsonsFlowering Ramsons
Author: Tony Atkin (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Close-up on RamsonsClose-up on Ramsons
Author: Sannse (GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

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