UK bulbs on the wiki (Allium ursinum)
Fri, 11 Jun 2004 10:45:19 PDT
In a message dated 6/11/2004 12:12:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Mary Sue Ittner <> wrote regarding the two common names for Allium ursinum, Wood Garlic and Ramsons,and the similarity of name to an American counterpart; Ramps.

A quick Google search on my lunch hour offers up lost of links; the following one is good.  The American counterpart, said to be very similar to the European A. ursinum, is Allium tricoccum, known as "ramps".  Check out this url:…

(*watch out for word-wrapping on these URLs)

By the way, one dictionary definition of ramps is: "to creep up -- used especially of plants".  Besides the name Ramsons for the European Allium ursinum, sometimes the name Buckram is used.  The definition of buckram follows:

[n]  a coarse cotton fabric stiffened with glue; used in bookbinding and to stiffen clothing.

Definition from Hyper Dictionary, url:

Perhaps the common name alludes to the finely reticulated bulb coat on the allium bulbs, but that's pure conjecture on my part.  A further Google search, on the etymology of "ramsons", came up with an indepth look at the origins of the word, and the origins of even the species name "ursinum".  Here's a snippet:"

English ramson (Old English hramsan) is of unclear origin; cognates are found in several Germanic (e.g., Swedish ramslök and regional German Ramsen) and Slavic languages (e.g., Russian cheremsha [черемша]). There are, however, a few possibly related words in other Indo-European tongues: Greek krommyon [κρόμμυον] “onion” and maybe Welsh craf “garlic”. "

For read more on the etymology of these terms, go to:…

That's it for now,

Mark McDonough        
Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States  
"New England", near New Hampshire  
USDA Zone 5
alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, 
western american alpines, iris, plants of all 

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