Saturday, May 25, 2013

For Carolyn; Wild Leeks continued

Last week a reader asked to help her distinguish between wild leeks and wild garlic. I said I'd post some photos to help so here they are!

The bulbs are an inch wide at the largest but vary and can be as small as a half inch wide. Here they  are fresh picked. Note the reddish stems on the older/larger ones.

Their leaves can be quite wide. I can always spot them because the leaves drape gracefully down, the tips nearly touching the woodland floor.

Cleaned and ready for chopping/braising etc.  They are much sweeter than a lot of onions and their smell is different from cultivated ones.

Hope this helps!!

Hey Carolyn; hope this helps! I'm not sure I've seen wild garlic before so I can't compare. These ended up whole on the grill, blackened and buttered until translucent. They were delicious. We plan on getting a few more this week.


  1. I'm pretty sure these are also called ramps. I bought them from a farmer's market and planted some of the bulbs. How lucky that you're able to find them in the wild!

    Wild garlic (Allium vineale), on the other hand, has thin tubular leaves that look like chives. But they're edible, too.

    1. Yep! Ramps is another name for them. And an interesting bit of info: the city of Chicago was named after wild stinky onions occurring naturally such as these.

      The word Chicago is derived from the Native American word for onion: Chicagua

  2. Our parks have volunteers come in to remove them. I guess here, they are a bothersome "weed" and I may just have to try some.

  3. OMG, I'm NOW just reading this. I also noticed that I haven't been getting posts of yours on my blog thingy until just today! I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner, but thank you so much for posting the pictures. The stuff we have doesn't look like your leeks, and I don't think I've ever seen them here. Just wild garlic & wild onion. Maybe I'll post some pictures when they come back in next spring! Ugh! Remind me, will ya? :)