Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic Flowers

wild garlic flowers allium ursinum

Close up

There are links to some posts at the bottom of this page from 2010 about wild garlic, also known as bear garlic;  latin name allium ursinum.  It grows in damp woodland, often near a stream. In the South-west of England the leaves are visible and the flowers are still in bud form( close to the centre of the leaves near the ground)  in March and the flowers may not come out until the end of April.

These are wild garlic flowers and bluebells. Note the flowers are small and delicate, if you have seen onions or alliums or chives in flower they look very similar

If you see a white flowering plant in the middle of the garlic, be careful that it is not a white woodland anenome that you are looking at as they grow in association with the garlic and come out earlier.

Woodland anenomes often grow in association with wild garlic

The anenomes leaves are quite different as are the flowers. Bluebells and lily of the valley are poisonous and these possibly are too,  so if in any doubt, pick a leaf, rub it between your fingers and have a good smell, then you should know what it is! And if you are not sure of  your identification skills, it’s not worth it.

wild garlic

Wild garlic as it first appears before flowering

Wild Garlic Leaves

The flowers come out later and the plant carries on growing well into May.  You can pick and use the leaves when they are young and tender as well as when they are in full flower. Apparently you can dig them up and eat the little bulbs at the bottom, though I don’t dig up plants in urban woodland.  A handful of garlic leaves goes a long way!

I think you can buy plants from the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight amongst other places.

The always cheerful Garlic Farm – we are growing their seed garlic in our garden

Related Posts:

Baker Supke’s Wild Garlic Rolls

Edible Plants Wild Garlic post

Wild Garlic Update

Links to Nigel Slater’s wild garlic recipes in The Observer

Potato Marsala Dosa with Wild Garlic

2 thoughts on “Wild Garlic

  1. Pingback: Woodland Walk in April « Zeb Bakes

  2. Pingback: Semolina Bun Bread with Wild Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes | Zeb Bakes

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