Allium Species, Ramp, Wood Leek, Wild Onion

Allium tricoccum

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: tricoccum (try-KOK-um) (Info)
Synonym:Aglitheis tricoccum
Synonym:Allium triflorum
Synonym:Ophioscorodon tricoccon
Synonym:Validallium tricoccum
Synonym:Allium pictum





Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Under 1"

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Shoals, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Prospect, Kentucky

Cumberland, Maryland(2 reports)

Oakland, Maryland

Lanse, Michigan

Keene, New Hampshire

Newport, New Hampshire

Salt Point, New York

Marion, North Carolina

Trenton, North Dakota

Columbus, Ohio

Vermilion, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Colver, Pennsylvania

Fayetteville, Pennsylvania

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Harrison Valley, Pennsylvania

De Leon, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Elkins, West Virginia

Grantsville, West Virginia

Madison, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 4, 2018, CraftyFox from Kimberly, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is definitely one of the finer American woodland treasures, often up and green before many other plants wake up for the season. There are ways you can harvest the bulb of this plant without damaging the roots or killing the plant.. That said, I usually only take one leaf of each one that doesn't have 3 (3 leaves means it's going to flower that year.) I find no reason to upset the bulb or anything below ground. In Europe they have a similar plant and, by harvesting just the leaves, they are able to have vast seas of this growing under the forest canopy.

As far as the medicinal value of this plant goes.. I suffer from seasonal allergies and, when I eat this plant, they lessen.


On May 31, 2016, Tiffit65 from Newport, NH (Zone 5a) wrote:

I first saw Ramps growing in the woods where my husband hunts deer. All that was showing were lots of little black berries on a long stem. I dug a small cluster of them up, and planted them in the woods behind my house, were I have made a walkway through & around different trees. Well.... they came up, and looked liked they were "happy" were I planted them. I was away for a week, and when I came home, they looked droopy, and yellow. I'm wondering if this is normal. I planted the seeds in the fall of last year(2015).
Where I got them, they were growing along with Trilliums, and Jack-in-the-pulpet's, so that is how I planted them. I have never heard of them, and didn't know you could eat them. I do hope they live, and spread. I have a ton of Peacock Ferns, it's nice in the spring... read more


On Dec 27, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species is a spring ephemeral and a plant of moist deciduous woodland. It blooms shortly after the foliage dies down in late spring. It is traditionally eaten and celebrated as part of the folkways of the southern Appalachians. It's similar to the European A. ursinum, and goes by the same common names.

Its native range extends from Manitoba to Quebec and south to Georgia.

This species is considered threatened in Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. It is reported rare in NE, OK, MS, GA, DE, and RI. read more


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 ... read more


On Oct 24, 2010, theNobody14161 from Mahtowa, MN wrote:

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 p... read more


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.


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!


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.