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Plant of the Week: Allium tricoccum

Plant of the Week! Gaining in popularity for their culinary use, Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are as attractive as they are tasty. Their large, lush green leaves are some of the first foliage on the spring forest floor, but they don’t last long. By early to mid-summer, the leaves will have withered and been replaced with a single flowering stalk. The flowers attract a number of bees, including bumblebees, mason bees, and Halictid bees. The plant is typically safe from deer and other herbivores. Ramps can be cultivated, although they are slow to germinate and mature. If you’d like to grow them at home, keep in mind that they are a woodland species, and thus require shade, moisture, and a lot of organic matter. Before you go out to the woods to collect ramps, take note that it takes 5-7 years for a ramp to reach harvest size. If you choose to harvest, the most sustainable way to do so is to simply take some leaves, leaving the bulb to survive and reproduce.

 

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