National Park Service -- April 11, 2023:The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to two species of Ramps, Red Ramps (Allium tricoccum) and White Ramps (Allium burdickii).
Ramps have limited availability due to the conditions in which they grow; and are not a plant the average garden will sustain. If you're looking for Ramps, remember... collecting these plants from the Parkway, on National Park Service-managed lands, is prohibited.
Ramps are in the leek and onion family, and grow in moist woodlands at high elevations in the Appalachian Range. In recent years, they have increased in popularity due to the uniqueness of their flavor.
Park visitors should be aware of boundary markers, and follow regulations accordingly. Harvesting Ramps outside the Parkway boundary may be legal in some locations, such as private lands or with a permit in certain U.S. Forest Service areas during harvest season.
The illegal harvest of these plants is a serious issue on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ramps have a high-profit margin, and illegal digging has increased over the years, putting pressure on the plant’s survival. Harvesting of Ramps is harmful because the whole plant is removed. Upon conviction, under 36 CFR 2.1 (a)(1)(ii), this offense carries a maximum misdemeanor penalty of up to 6 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $5,000.
NPS Photos – Cover photo :Wooded field of Ramp plants
A ruler measuring the width of Ramp plant leaf - Botanists use dichotamous keys to positively identify plants. In the case of Ramps, the size of the leaf width is a distinguishing characteristic separating Red Ramps from White Ramps.
Close-up of a single Ramp plant laying on a rock 4
3500 Ramp plants seized during poaching case