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Wild Leeks - April's Wild Food of the Month!

leeks.jpg (51890 bytes)The Wild Leek,
also known as the Ramp, or common Wild Leek (Allium tricoccum) is our best wild onion and a source of food and subtle spiciness.

Broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems begin arriving in small troops as soon as the snow disappears. Scallion like bulbs are  strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil. Finish off your identification by tearing a leaf or stem and taking a sniff of the strong and distinctive onion scent of the Leek

Look for soil habitats that are sandy, moist and often on hillsides and near streams. I almost always find them while searching for Morels so a bad day of mushroom hunting can often be a good day for leeks! leek-s.jpg (27169 bytes)

The leaves are are very tender early in the Spring and the bulb is edible year round, though they can toughen up in the summer. Don't bother collecting more then a few hands full unless you want to blanch and freeze some, because the wild Leek is very pungent. Use it sparingly and you'll have good luck as the flavor of both the leaves and the bulb are quite strong.

-Roy Reehil

Here's an outstanding Wild Leek Recipe

See also: Fiddleheads!
and: A Forager's Spring Feast

If you are new to collecting wild foods be sure to check out our
Forager's Credo and  Disclaimer
Back to the Front Page of the Wild Food Field Guide

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