wild leek

(Allium tricoccum)

Conservation Status
wild leek
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Wild leek is a 4 to 12 tall, erect, perennial, forb rising from 2 to 6 clustered bulbs. All parts of the plant, including the flower, have a strong onion odor.

The bulbs are to 2 tall and to 1 wide, but usually more than 1½ tall and more than ¾ wide. They are egg-shaped to cone-shaped. They are encased in a brownish or grayish membranous coating.

Two to three basal leaves arise tightly rolled together at the soil surface. Later they spread, forming a basal rosette. They are 8 to 12 long, 1 to 3 wide, solid, flat, and untoothed. They are either lance-shaped, tapering to a point at the tip and tapering gradually to the stalk at the base, to narrowly oval, widest at the middle and narrower at the two equal ends. They are on ¾ to 2 long, distinct, slender, reddish leaf stalks. The leaves die back before the flower is fully expanded and functioning.

A single, leafless, hairless, round flowering stem (scape) rises 10 to 14 from the center of the rosette of leaves. It is curved or bent slightly toward the top, somewhat zigzagged.

The inflorescence is a single umbrella-like flowering cluster (umbel) at the top of the scape. The cluster is 1¼ in diameter, erect, and shaped like half of a sphere. It has 30 to 50 flowers and no bulblets. There are two large bracts (spathe), ½ to 1 long, at the base of the cluster. The spathe surrounds and enclose the cluster and is split on one side. It does not fall off but remains even as the fruits develop.

The flowers are ¼ long and bell-shaped. They are composed of 6 white to cream tepals (3 petals and 3 sepals that are similar in appearance). The tepals are erect and have blunt tips. They remain on the plant even as the fruit develops. They are on to ¾ long flower stalks, the inner ones on shorter stalks, the outer ones on longer stalks, like an umbrella.

The fruits form a small ball-like cluster at the top of the stem. The fruit is a shiny 3-celled seed capsule, each cell containing 1 seed (the scientific name tricoccum is Latin for three-seeded).

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4 to 12

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White to cream

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

This species is distinguished from other Allium species by the leaves that disappear by flowering time. The leaves are also wider than those of any other Allium species in Minnesota.

Narrow-leaved wild leek (Allium burdickii), as its common name indicates, has narrower leaves, ¾ to 1¼ wide. They are nearly stalkless or on much shorter leaf stalks, and the stalks are green, not reddish. The bulbs are shorter, ¾ to 1½ tall. The scape is much shorter, 5 to 6¼ tall. The spathe bracts are smaller, to ¾ long. The umbel has 12 to 18 individual flowers.

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) has similar leaves but they are shorter, 6 to 9, and much wider, 1 to 5 wide. The inflorescence is a loose, elongated clusted of nodding flowers.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Rich woods. Dappled sunlight.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  1/1/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Asparagales (agaves, orchids, irises, and allies)  
 

Family

Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis, onions, and allies)  
  Subfamily Allioideae  
  Tribe Allieae  
 

Genus

Allium (onion)  
  Subgenus Anguinum  
  Section Anguinum  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Allium pictum

Allium tricoccum var. tricoccum

Allium triflorum

Ophioscorodon tricoccum

Validallium tricoccum

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

ramp

ramps

small white leek

wild leek

wild onion

wood leek

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Elongate

Drawn out, lengthened.

 

Scape

An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Spathe

One or two large bracts that subtend, hood, or sometimes envelope a flower or flower cluster, as with a Jack-in-the-pulpit.

 

Tepal

Refers to both the petals and the sepals of a flower when they are similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart. Tepals are common in lilies and tulips.

 

Umbel

A flat-topped or convex umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

 
 
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Plant

 
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Inflorescence

 
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Flowers

 
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Bud

 
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Leaves

 
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Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Small White Leek (Allium tricoccum)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Small White Leek (Allium tricoccum)  
Allium tricoccum (Wild Leek)
Allen Chartier
  Allium tricoccum (Wild Leek)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  What are Ramps? (Allium tricoccum)
Forest Farming
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 1, 2013

Spring is the time to harvest ramps, a popular forest vegetable in the eastern United States. This savory plant is a member of the onion family closely related to leeks. In early spring, ramps send up smooth, broad, lily-of-the-valley like leaves that disappear by summer before the white flowers appear. The whole plant is edible and has a garlic-like aroma and is usually three or more years old when harvested.

 
  Life Cycle of a Ramp (Allium tricoccum)
Forest Farming
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 1, 2013

In this video we review the stages of a ramp's reproduction and life cycle. Ramps have a very short window in which to store up carbohydrates for the year. In the spring, before the forest canopy grows thick and blocks out light reaching the forest floor, ramps must soak up the sun and store the carbohydrates in their roots.

 
  Wild Leek (Ramps) - Allium tricoccum
PrairieMoonNursery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 28, 2009

http://www.prairiemoon.com - Wild Leeks, often called Ramps, are highly desirable by Forager's in early spring because they are edible. Watch as Steve, Senior Ecologist at Prairie Moon Nursery, points out a native woodland setting where Wild Leeks grow.

 
  Ramps or wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) video
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 9, 2010

L'Ail des bois du printemps à l'automne. Ajo de monte de la primavera hasta el otoño. Wild Garlic from spring to fall.

 
  03 Allium tricoccum Séquence 5-Vivaces printanières 1.m4v
Jean Désorcy
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 9, 2010

L'Ail des bois du printemps à l'automne. Ajo de monte de la primavera hasta el otoño. Wild Garlic from spring to fall.

 
       

 

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