Allium tricoccum (Wild Leek)
|Also known as:||Ramps, Three-seeded Leek|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; moist rich woods|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||6 to 9 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Small round cluster of ¼-inch creamy or greenish white flowers on stout stalks about 1¼ inch long, with 2 papery bracts at the base of the cluster. Flowers have 6 tepals (petals), 6 stamens with creamy yellow tips, and a green overy with 3 globular sections in the center. Flowers appear 4 to 6 weeks after leaves have emerged, usually after they have withered away for the season.
Leaves and stem:
2 or 3 three basal leaves emerge from an underground bulb in early spring, 6 to 12 inches long, 1 to 4 inches wide, lance-elliptic, narrowed at both ends with a long tappered base, smooth leathery texture with faint parallel veins, toothless, dark green often tinged red at the base with a reddish stalk. The flowering stalk is smooth and green or reddish, and starts emerging as the leaves wither away for the season.
A denizen of deep shady woods, Wild Leek can form thick colonies of lush green leaves in early spring but flowers are small and diminuative by comparson and often go unnoticed while in the presence of later summer species. Leaves and flowers both have a strong onion odor, especially when bruised. There are 2 varieties, both found in Minnesota. Var. tricoccum has broader leaves commonly reddish at the base and up to 50 flowers in a cluster. Var. burdickii has narrower leaves green at the base and is shorter stalked, with 20 or fewer flowers per cluster. All Allium species were formerly in the Liliaceae (Lily) family, but are now in Alliaceae (Onion).
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- a colony of Wild Leek in early spring
- Wild Leek with Skunk Cabbage
- more flowers
- emerging flower
- budding flower
- var. burdickii leaves
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey, Washington and Chisago counties. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.
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