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It is a wild relative of chives native to Europe and Asia. The Latin name is due to the brown bear's taste for the bulbs and its habit of digging up the ground to get at them; they are also a favorite of wild boar. They flower in the spring, filling the air with their characteristic garlic-like scent. The stem is triangular in shape and the leaves are similar to those of the lily of the valley. Unlike the related crow garlic and field garlic, the flower-head contains no bulbils, only flower. Ramsons leaves are edible; they can be used as salad, spice, boiled as a vegetable, in soup, or as an ingredient for pesto in place of basil.
It grows in deciduous woodlands with moist soils, preferring slightly acidic conditions.