Wild garlic flower head

Wild garlic

A woodland walk in spring is not complete without the sights and scents from the carpets of wild garlic. The smell from these flowers can be quite overpowering from a colony in full bloom, but is just as strong if the plants are picked or bruised.

Wild garlic does have other attractions for the woodland walker: the clusters of delicate starry white flowers and bright green leaves. These leaves have a mildly garlic taste, but they can easily be mistaken for the poisonous lily of the valley. Wild garlic, or ramsons as they are also known, are vigorous growers and can dominate woodland floors and shady places in Europe and Asia.

Scientific name: Allium ursinum

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Bear leek,
  • Bear's garlic,
  • Broad-leaved garlic,
  • Buckrams,
  • Ramsons,
  • Wood garlic

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The Wild garlic can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Wild garlic distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web