Commonly known as Wild Garlic Ransoms often grow in large clumps in damp woodlands and hedgerows in the UK. Despite being able to be smelt several feet away the garlic taste is much milder than people expect. It can grow up to 50cm (20”) high and normally appears from early march, flowering in April-June with white star shaped flowers. It leaves are broad and spear like and can be chopped and added to sauces or used to wrap meat in while roasting. Small bulb like balls also form at the top of stems and these can be popped for extra flavour or added to stews. Although not filling since ransoms are often plentiful they can be used to make less tasty food like bracket fungus stew or nettle soup more palatable. Care should be taken as part from the smell the broad leaves can be mistaken for some non-edible plants such as some varieties of Lilly of the Valley, although due to their pungent smell this is not normally a problem. The leaves contain iron and vitamin c as well as sulphur and have been used much like garlic to treat digestive problems in the past.
A very popular tree in British gardens and urban areas and common in the north and west of Britain, in the wild it prefers wooded bogs and upland areas. The Rowan is easily identified by its clusters of bright red berries, which are about the size of redcurrants. It is a deciduous tree that when in leaf has a greyish smooth bark and mid green, toothed leaves, which are elliptical and is fast growing up to about 20 meters. The berries form in August and can last until December and are best picked in October when they have got their full bright red colour but have yet to turn mushy. They are easily gathered in clusters from the lower branches. The berries make excellent bait for birds but can also be brewed into alcohol or made into a jelly, which is similar in taste to marmalade. The berries are a good source of vitamin C and also contain sugars and pectin. In the past the bark and leaves have been used as a gargle to cure thrush and the berries can also be used for this purpose as well as a cure for a sore throat. Rowan Jam is also supposed to encourage appetitive. The tree was one of those held sacred by some of the ancient British religions and was associated with the male aspect and sacred fire.