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Abundant in some damp woodlands in late April and eary May



  • Ramsons: come to your senses

    Post date: Tuesday, 29 April, 2014 - 00:00

    There are not many botanical sights that take your breath away. A bluebell wood may be the best known but visit Kilwood Nature Reserve in Purbeck (Dorset) and you will see a carpet of white flowered ramsons (Allium ursinum), almost like snow, that stretches as far as the eye can see across the entire woodland floor. 

    Ramsons is also known as wild garlic and when you get close to it you are left in no doubt, the smell of garlic is unmistakable. The leaves are edible but when there are no flowers visible it can look very like other woodland plants that are poisonous so care is needed if you decide to collect some! It is found throughout Europe and Asia and the bulbs are a favourite food of the brown bear and the wild boar!

    In deciduous woodlands ramsons is quite common, especially where the ground is acidic and inclined to be damp in spring.  It spreads vigorously and that what leads to the stunning display in Kilwood and other woodlands, usually in the last week of April and first week in May. It is often an indicator of ancient or long established woodland.

Common Name Ramsons
Alternative Name(s) Wild Garlic
Scientific Name Allium ursinum
Species Group Onion Family Alliaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Lily family - Liliaceae
Status Common
Flower Colour Group White
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for A carpet of white flowers on the woodland floor
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Onion Family Alliaceae