Allium ursinum

allium ursinum

Twice within a week’s time, I saw references to using this plant which I hadn’t realized is edible.  So I went down the hill to where I know there is a stand of it and cut a nice bouquet.  It is a spring tonic type plant, to be used like chives or parsley, chopped raw, not cooked.  I used three leaves for the two of us yesterday (in a grated carrot salad) and today (sprinkled over zucchini).  We did not find it unpleasant and it has a mild garlic flavour.   Shortly we should be entirely rejuvenated.

The first reference to it was in a magazine I picked up at the organic store.  The second reference was in Maria Trében’s book “La Santé à la Pharmacie du Bon Dieu”, in English, “Health Through God’s Pharmacy”. I don’t know why, in French, especially when referring to plants, they add the word good to God.  I have seen this book recommended many times and a friend of mine found herself with two copies so she gave me one.  I have several books about herbs and subscribed to the magazine “The Herb Companion” for quite a few years and this is the first time I remember seeing this plant as edible.  I have seen it in guides which point out its resemblance to lily of the valley.  The leaves are similar but the allium ursinum, called l’ail des ours in French which means bears’ garlic, smells of garlic.  The flowers are recognizably different, the allium ones being more star-like and the lily of the valley ones being more bell-like.

lily of the valley
You may be able to notice how far along the lilies of the valley are; the flower stalks are out with the flower heads already formed.  (There are quite a few weeds accompanying my lilies…)

The noun ALLIUM URSINUM has 1 sense:

1. pungent Old World weedy plant

  Familiarity information: ALLIUM URSINUM used as a noun is very rare.



Herba Alii ursini

Dutch – Daslook, Beerlook, Berelook, Borslook, Hondsknoflook, Wilde Knoflook, Woutknooploock

English – Ramson, Wild garlic

Farsi – سیرخرس Sirkhers

Finnish – Karhunlaukka

French – Ail sauvage, Ail des ours

Gaelic – Creamh, Garleag

German – Bärlauch, Wilder Knoblauch, Waldknoblauch, Ramsen

Turkish – yabanî sarımsak



This page gives details on its properties:


About djdfr

Daily life experiences by a Franco-American woman living in the Breton countryside form the basics of this blog. Gardening, watercolour, choral music, food, are some of my interests. I seek to balance the physical, mental and spiritual. I am a free believer praying from the Bible, the Qur’an and The Revelation of Arès. In 1974, with Jesus as the messenger, and in 1977, manifesting as a stick of light, Our Creator spoke directly to a man in Arès, France, named Michel Potay. The message is in the book “The Revelation of Arès”. It is a call for us to change, to practice love, peacemaking, forgiveness, to free ourselves from all prejudice, to develop our spiritual intelligence, the intelligence of the heart.

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