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Wild Garlic (Ramsons, Broad-leaved Garlic, Wood Garlic)

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  • Common Name: Wild Garlic (Ramsons, Broad-leaved Garlic, Wood Garlic)
  • Latin Name: Allium ursinum
  • Family Name: Amaryllidaceae
Horsfield tortoises have been observed eating Alliums in the wild, as part of a wide and varied diet, and although a nibble of a flower or leaf will probably do no harm, we do not recommend feeding Wild Garlic on the general principle that plants from bulbs are not suitable as tortoise food.  Do not confuse with Allium vineale, which is also often called Wild Garlic.

Wild Garlic leaves can be easily confused with those of Lily of the Valley and Lords and Ladies, both of which are toxic, so be sure of your identification.   A good means of positively identifying Wild Garlic is to rub the leaves between your fingers, which should produce a garlic-like smell.  Also, the stems of the leaves are triangular-shaped.  When the leaves of Wild Garlic and Lords and Ladies first sprout they look similar, but when the leaves unfold Lords and Ladies leaves have irregular edges and many deep veins, while those of Wild Garlic are convex with a single main vein.  The leaves of Lily of the Valley come from a single purple stem, while the Wild Garlic leaves have individual green-coloured stems.
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