Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Stinking Nanny’s Surprise: The Pungent Power of Ramsons

Ramsons, those delicate flowers of the forest floor, hold a secret. Typically, they signal the presence of an ancient woodland, flourishing in the quietude of undisturbed soil. But here lies a peculiar sight: these ramsons are thriving amidst the confines of a railway cutting. An anomaly, indeed.

As I ventured deeper into Newton Woods, a bastion of ancient woodland, the ramsons multiplied, a testament to the damp woodland they inhabit. Their arrival, seemingly later than the bluebells’, hints at a curious twist this year, with the blue carpet lagging behind the white blooms.

Although the forest air has yet to be infused with that familiar scent of garlic, Stinking nanny — another of the myriad of names by which ramsons are known — blanket the ground with their lush green leaves peppered with white stars. Revered for its medicinal properties, wild garlic has long been lauded in herbal lore.

Despite their pungent collective aroma, ramsons possess a surprisingly mild flavour, perfect for culinary ventures into salads, stews, and soups. Yet, their true allure lies in their role as early bloomers, providing a vital lifeline to awakening pollinators. Bees, butterflies, and other insects eagerly seek out the nectar and pollen bestowed by the white stars of ramsons, heralding the dawn of a new season.







One response to “Stinking Nanny’s Surprise: The Pungent Power of Ramsons”

  1. Bob Howe avatar
    Bob Howe

    The white flowers are really peppery too

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