Latin name: Allium ursinum
Where: Mostly in deciduous woodland, for example on Inchcailloch
When: Flowers in May
A plant you smell before you see! Its garlicky reek wafts through the trees in the woodlands where it blooms in profusion. The beauty of its starry flowers, held in a bunch at the top of a single stem, belies its exotic smell. It flowers at roughly the same time as the more fragrant bluebell, and a woodland walk may take you though alternating carpets of blue and white, sweet-smelling and pungent. They rarely grow together.
Both the long, strap-like leaves and flowers make good eating. The former gives a mild, garlic flavour to a salad, while the blooms add both a decorative touch and a powerful punch. In fact people have been eating wild garlic for thousands of years. A carbonised bulb was found in the National Park at Fairy Knowe broch near Aberfoyle!