Allium ampeloprasum Alliaceae Wild Leek

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Allium ampeloprasum 30kb

Description - With stems about 1m high and large pink flower-heads, the Wild Leek is fairly unmistakeable. The heads consist of a ball of bulbils, each capable of growing where it falls. Small pink flowers open around these. Our plants mainly reproduce vegetatively by bulbils, rather than by the seed. Leaves are just like the Leek in your garden, although the stem will not get quite so fat. All parts have a strong onion scent.

Habitat - It prefers sandy, costal soil, but will grow on waste land, or even hedgebanks, further inland.

Comment - First known from the cliffs at Fort George in the 1800s, then started to spread very slowly to Rocquaine, and hedgebanks in St Peters , but in the last 40 years or so has spread dramatically to most parts of the island. Mainly confined to the south-west of England, and west of Ireland. It is thought to be the ancestor of our garden leek, and people in Guernsey have been known to eat it as such.

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