The wild onion, despite my pictures, is not as abundant in the wild as it used to be in our woodlands. In Quebec, wild harvesting is prohibited now, and in a few of the US states it has become a ‘special concern’ species, mostly because of the increasing foraging trends. It is one of the first species to appear in early spring, and after a long winter the fleshy leaves look very delicious. They will completely disappear later being replaced by the flowering stems bearing a single inflorescence with white flowers, followed by fruits with 3 black seeds each (tricoccum).
The bulbs and leaves have been traditionally used by the Native Americans (including medicinally). Various ramp festivals are usually held in May and many recipes for cooking are available. When crushed, a garlic odour surrounds the air right away and the cooking release an onion-like flavour; they have lots of vitamins and minerals.
Anyone can grow a patch of wild onion for the enjoyment of seeing the first green leaves of spring!
Germination: seeds need a warm, moist period followed by a cold one to break the dormancy, which usually happens when they drop on the woodland floor in late summer. Kept moist the seeds will start to germinate in Oct.-Nov.