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PlantFiles: Ramp, Wild Leek, Wood Leek, Wild Onion
Allium tricoccum

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: tricoccum (try-KOK-um) (Info)

Synonym:Validallium tricoccum

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the bulb's scales

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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8 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive blueskyfd11 On Apr 18, 2012, blueskyfd11 from Harrison Valley, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Have heard all my life that if you eat wild leeks 3 days in a row, you will be healthy for the year and now I believe there is something to this. I have tasted leeks that were later grown in garden soil and found they lose their hotness or "wildness" after a period of time so every year I leek hunt in the woods, some to eat but also replant in other wooded areas. Found somewhere on the internet that states these are is not so at least in the northern top state of Pennsylvania. I believe they are being over harvested due to many factors like lack of income for many, many people in my area and this is a fantastic food source. However, if you harvest wild leeks, please try to leave at least 1/4 amount for future growth and use. Also found that when I cut the bulbs away from the roots, replant the roots and some will regrow. I will be testing an area for just roots alone and see what the rate of growth is in future.

Neutral theNobody14161 On Oct 24, 2010, theNobody14161 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

seems to do well in high-nutrient, well-shaded environments.

Positive blueskyfd11 On Apr 23, 2010, blueskyfd11 from Harrison Valley, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Where ever I move to, I always leave leeks to grow to help increase their numbers. They are a beautiful plant and they do attract bees. The taste of wild leeks cannot be outdone by anything else...they are wonderful and really good in egg dishes and stews. I also save the roots after cutting them for meals, then replant the roots.

Positive texasflora_com On Apr 5, 2009, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

It's hard to imagine anyone rating this wonderful plant any way but positive. It's considered by many to be the absolute best tasting of all alliums. It's becoming endangered in its main habitat due to massive collection and should be planted as much as possible. I even saw on another forum that it could be "invasive". I'd be thrilled if it would "invade" my garden. It's unfortunate that so many people think that anything that grows naturally or wild is just no good at all. I'm glad that some people can appreciate the wonderful gifts mother nature gave us.

Neutral raisedbedbob On Feb 13, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

According to the Peterson Field Guuide to Medicinal Plants, Cherokees ate the leaves to treat colds, croup, and as a spring tonic. Warm juice of leaves was used for earaches. A strong root decoction was used as an emetic.

Positive Breezymeadow On Nov 27, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although I haven't grown this plant myself, I do very much enjoy cooking with it when it appears in the early spring at local organic/gourmet food markets here in the mountain foothills of the Piedmont area of Virginia. According to the proprietors of these shops, the Ramps sold by them are locally grown in the area using sustainable methods.

Since I have several areas on my farm that I believe would be hospitable to growing them, this is something that I might try myself in the future.

Positive ravntorthe On Nov 26, 2005, ravntorthe from Elkins, WV wrote:

As was previously noted, in the area of central WV ramps are harvested in spring for personal use and for benefits. Due to the large amount needed for these benefits (and festivals, where I live we have a festival based entirely on ramps) people have to go farther to harvest them when we used to be able to dig a little ways from the roads through the mountains. Hence, the need to keep in mind the idea of conservation is very important.

As was priorly stated, you won't harm the reproductive capabilities of the plant if you only harvest a few leaves. Another idea is to spread the plant back into the areas it used to inhabit by harvesting the entire plant and replanting it with a few leaves left on it (this doesn't take much extra time). Since my family tends to dig the whole plant I have them give me the root end of the plant with a leaf or two remaining and I plant them in my backyard.

Ramps make a pretty groundcover for areas that you don't want to turn into grass, but you also don't want weeds in. All you need in order to help them thrive is a clay base soil and lots of leafy matter. Make certain they are shaded and have a fair amount of moisture. My personal ramp patch is something of a source of pride since I was told they couldn't be cultivated.

Positive freetek On Apr 26, 2004, freetek from Grantsville, WV wrote:

In central West Virginia, these appeared in mid-March and reached 12 in about 6 weeks. Harvesting is done leaving enough random plants behind to self-seed and ensure a crop the following spring.
The soil is heavily laden with clay in our area and very moist.
The useful season for ramps is several weeks, dependent on weather conditions.
During this period, a number of fund-raisers for different organizations are held with ramps as the centerpiece and main attraction.

Positive wildleek On Jun 4, 2003, wildleek from Keene, NH wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants. It is a beautiful spring ephemeral, and just about the sweetest, tastiest thing you can imagine (if you like oniony flavors). Harvest only one leaf per plant each year to keep them growing OK. Forms huge carpets over time, many dozens of feet across. Prefers shady deciduous habitats. Easy to propagate from seed. Not so pretty as the leaves die, but I think worth it given its flavor. Combine with wild ginger, black cohosh or other summer green herbs to cover the dying leaves in late May. Yum, yum, eat em up!

Positive Terry On Mar 17, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Effective Spring 2002, ramp collection is banned in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

In years past, the park permitted individuals to collect ramps the ramp populations were declining rapidly. Ramps can still be picked on nearby private land (with owner's permission) and National Forest Service lands.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Shoals, Indiana
Prospect, Kentucky
Cumberland, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Lanse, Michigan
Keene, New Hampshire
Salt Point, New York
Marion, North Carolina
Trenton, North Dakota
Vermilion, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Harrison Valley, Pennsylvania
De Leon, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Elkins, West Virginia
Grantsville, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin

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