Common Name Wild leek, perennial leek
Edible greens, flowers, root
Allium ampeloprasum is a bulb growing to 1.8 m. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees & insects.
Bulb can be eaten raw or cooked, although the small bulbs can vary considerably in size from 2 - 6cm. They have a fairly strong leek to garlic flavor. The bulbs of selected cultivars are very large with a mild garlic flavor. Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, they are available from late autumn to the spring though they can become rather tough and fibrous as they get older. Flowers are best eaten raw. A similar flavor to the leaves but they have a somewhat dry texture. The bulbils have a mild garlic flavor and make a nice flavoring in salads and cooked foods. They can also be pickled.
This species has the same medicinal virtues as garlic, but in a much milder and less effective form. Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasitical properties have proved of benefit. It is also said to have anticancer properties. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, anti-asthmatic, anti-cholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The crushed bulb may be applied as a poultice to ease the pain of bites, stings, etc.