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Three types of wild garlic grow in Britain: 'Field Garlic' (Allium Oleraceum), 'Crow Garlic' (Allium Vineale), and 'Ramsons' (Allium Ursinum) - they all belong to the lily family. Garlic mustard - sometimes called Jack-by-the-hedge - (Alliaria Petiolata) belongs to the Cruciferae or cabbage family. The first two grow on field edges, while ramsons are found in woodlands and shady edges. Garlic mustard is common in hedgerows and grassy banks. All can be found by their garlic smell, which spreads for several yards. All have thin stems of between 40 and 90cm and white flowers between April and June. Ramsons have much broader leaves than the other three, whose leaves are narrow in a grass-like fashion.
Wild garlic is far less pungent that the cultivated kind, but can be used in all the same ways. The 'flowers' at the top of each stem can be deep-fried in a tempura-style batter; this doesn't work with the leaves, as the batter simply runs off.
It also makes excellent soup. See our Recipe Section