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Allium (tricoccum)

Jan Schultz
Forest Plant Ecologist
USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest
1030 Wright Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855
906.228.4484 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Liliaceae
Family Common Name: Lily Family
Scientific Name: Allium tricoccum Aiton
Common Name: Wild leek
Species Code: ALTR3
General Distribution: Rich deciduous woods, both on upland and floodplain sites, moist beech-maple-hemlock stands. Onion-like plant with single stem with round head of flowers. Also called "ramps". 8-12 inches high.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 0
Propagule Collection: Seed ripens at different rates within one seed head. Seed head can be gently shaken periodically to remove seed as it ripens. Seed is collected by hand from locally native plants within the eastern central Upper Peninsula. FlowersJune-July. Seed is a bulb and seed and is harvested from mid August to September.
Propagule Processing: Dry seeds for 1-2 weeks in open paper bags or open Rubbermaid-style bins, shaking or turning seed heads. Seed is not cleaned. Once seeds have dried, store in sealed Ziploc-style bags until sowing time. Keep in a cool dry place (refrigerator or cold garage) until planted. Cold store until planted (up to 3 years).
Pre-Planting Treatments: None. May require stratification: mix the seeds with an equal amount of moist perlite or vermiculite. Seal container and proceed with up to two months or more of cold moist stratification in a cool dry place.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse film is made of Standard U.V. 3HL Clear 6 mil (J.R. Johnson's Greenhouse Supply Inc.) Fans run continuously to circulate the air. Vents open during the summer months to allow for cooling. Container Type: grows best in 24 cell (2"diameter) 14"x8.5"x4" deep flats. Can be grown in virtually any plug size. Sowing Media: Scotts Redi-earth Plug and Seedling Mix. Contains vermiculite, and sphagnum peat moss. Soil is sterile.
Thoroughly moisten the soil with water, mixing in the water with a trowel. Cover the holes in the bottom/sides of the plug tray cells with newspaper so that the soil does not fall out. Fill cells with damp soil and press soil down with a spoon. Refill the cell plugs with soil to the top, this time not pressing it down. Water the soil in the plug cells again. Sow the seeds by hand at a rate of about 2 seeds in each cell. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Sow year-round due to low variable success rates.
Establishment Phase: From Jan. until Aug. the greenhouse thermostat is set at 65 degrees both day and night. Ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 100 degrees F during the day in the summer. From Sept. thru Dec. the thermostat is set at 55 degrees F. During this season ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 75 degrees F during the day. The greenhouse holds plants at all stages of growth so the temperature setting stays the same for all plants at all stages of growth. Soil is kept consistently damp during germination. Water using a fine mist or light hose setting only. Newly planted trays are placed on the south side of the greenhouse. No artificial light is used.
Active Growth Phase: The soil does not need to be consistently moist. Move trays to cooler north greenhouse tables. No fertilizers are used.
Hardening Phase: In early-late spring, mature plants can be moved into a cold frame with a cover of material that diffuses sunlight to prevent scorching of the plants. When danger of frost has passed leave plants outside. Water less frequently.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: In the Upper Peninsula, flats are transplanted into the field from late May to early October. Flats that are not planted in the summer remain in the greenhouse for another growing season.
Other Comments: Grows best in partly shaded areas. Ephemeral-leaves are gone (several months later). Clones are very long-lived (25 years+). Low percentage germination. Seed dispersed by ants.


Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Allium tricoccum Aiton plants USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/09/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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