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Perpetual leek -

Perpetual leek -

The perpetual leek or wild leek

Perennial leek is a perennial plant that looks like a small leek, about the diameter of a pencil. It is a vegetable to be harvested during fall, winter and spring. The plant produces many shoots until they form quite dense clumps. Its cycle is quite unusual in the vegetable garden. At the very beginning of summer, the plant disappears completely, to reappear already in the middle of August. The harvest will take place quickly, around October. Want to plant it? In the garden, it is from August that the cloves are added, in groups of 3 or 4, every 20 cm and at a depth of 5 cm. Harvesting can begin as early as 10 weeks later!
In cooking, because that's what really interests us, this wonderful vegetable can be used in the same way as leeks, in fondue, in soup, or even braised, but it is more often used as a condiment plant. We must admit that it diffuses its flavors quickly in dishes!

Botanical name:

• Allium Poyanthum

Plant type:

Family : Alliaceae, alliaceae
• Cycle: Perennial
• Hardiness: Hardy plant (-15 ° C)
Foliage : Caduc (disappears in summer)
Exposure : Sun and partial shade
Ground : Humid, drained, loose and deep
• Harbor : Stems erect, leaves drooping
• Rooting: Caïeux
• Origin: Western Europe
• Toxicity: No

Special features and health advantage:

Nutrition / health:
• Essential oil :
• Vitamins: Very rich in vitamins A, B, C.
• Mineral salts :
• Crop rotation: The plant as a perennial can stay in place for about ten years. Once moved, it will take 3 years to replant in the same place.
• Toxic: No
• Honey plant: -.

Advantage in the garden:

• Very easy to grow.
• Very hardy strain
• Perpetual vegetable


The perpetual leek is a perennial plant that easily takes its place in the garden, so much so that every 3 or 4 years, the tuft widens sharply, sometimes finding itself cramped in its line and no longer producing more than all-fine wild leeks. When this happens, all you have to do is tear off the tufts during the summer (dormant period) to select the most beautiful cloves in order to replant them where they will have the necessary space for their growth!

What soil to plant the perpetual crambé:

• Fresh, fairly loose soil, humus, drained and deep.

What exposure for the crambe?

• Sun and partial shade
• In very sunny and hot areas, it is advisable to grow them in exposure partial shade.

When to plant the perpetual leek?

With regard to the perpetual leek, such as garlic or rocambole garlic, we speak more easily of planting than of sowing, because we start the culture with cloves or bulbils, we will rather distinguish between the open ground culture or the culture in bucket under cover.

• In place : from August to February
• In bucket: under cover: from March to the end of May

How to plant caiëux in the vegetable garden?

In place :

• Loosen the soil with a grelinette or a spade fork.
• Amend the soil with potting soil or mature compost.
• Prepare the pockets: make holes 5 cm deep and wide,
• Space them every 25 cm staggered according to the lines.
• The cloves are placed in pockets of 4 or 5, each point upwards.
• Cover them with potting soil.
• Tamp and water.
• It is no longer necessary to water, the perpetual leek culture adapts well to heat, except in severe drought.

How to grow the perpetual leek in a container under cover:

• From the end of February, prepare your pots with potting soil.
• Use a potting soil for planting.
• Place one stump per bucket at a depth of 5 cm.
• Cover with potting soil.
• Tamp and water.

This method is less successful than cultivation by cloves, the results are not always there.

When to transplant:

• Transplant in May.

How to transplant:

• Loosen the soil.
• Amend it with potting soil.
• Place the cups every 20 cm.
• The harvest will take place later than in the cultivation of cloves, between 4 and 6 months.

Can we multiply the perpetual leek?

• Yes, the perpetual leek forms clumps.
• They develop thanks to bulbils,
• It is then sufficient to recover them during harvest and to transplant them.

When to multiply the crambe:

• From August.

Interview :

Blanching of young stems:

• As the perennial leeks grow, pull the soil up along the stems (butt).
• Repeat the operation 2 or 3 times during the season.

Floor maintenance:

• Tillage and weeding are necessary to allow better distribution and retention of water /
• Cut the flower stems if they appear so as not to tire the plant, unless you want to "make perennial leek seeds".

When to harvest the perpetual leek?

• The harvest begins 6 weeks after planting the cloves and lasts until the following spring.
• Only the winter period, in freezing weather, can prevent the harvest.

Perpetual leek harvest:

• After 10 weeks after planting cloves.
• Cut just above the cloves,
• Throughout the season it will reproduce shoots that you can harvest again.

Perennial crambe cabbage varieties:

• There is only one variety.

Crambe and good company in the vegetable garden

• The perpetual leek is undemanding, apart from a place large enough for its development.
• Plant it in good company, daubenton cabbage, sorrel, or why in the aromatic garden with thyme, rosemary, mint, sage, savory, oregano ...

Crop rotation?

• Perennial leek is a perennial plant that is not too demanding on the soil. In fact, the plant can stay in place for 10 years.
• Once removed, it will take 3 years to replant it in the same place.

Diseases of the crambe?

• The plant is rarely affected by diseases, this is also one of the advantages of the perpetual vegetable garden, the plants are more resistant than the annuals. the perpetual leek does not cut to the rule.
• There is little more than the leafminer, which sometimes can do damage.

Quick sheet:


Large plant with a green or pinkish cylindrical stem. Linear gray-green leaves (4-10 leaves, often absent during flowering). Spathe (membranous bract of the inflorescence) with a valve, not persistent. The inflorescence is a large spherical umbel that can bear up to 500 flowers. Long rosy pedicels. Bell flowers of variable color, white to pink, often streaked with purple. The stamens protrude slightly from the corolla.

The wild plant is native to southern Europe and western Asia. It was introduced to Britain in prehistoric times.

Its cultivated forms are present all over the world.

Its essence contains allicin which gives garlic its characteristic flavor and propanethial oxide which is the tear gas found in onions and leeks.

Features Edit

  • Reproductive organs:
    • Inflorescence type: umbel
    • Gender distribution: hermaphrodite
    • Pollination type: entomogam
    • Flowering period: June to August
  • seed:
    • Fruit type: capsule
    • Mode of dissemination: barochoric
  • Habitat and distribution:
    • Typical habitat: wasteland, hedges, plowed land
    • Distribution area: Mediterranean

The typical wild plant has given rise to several distinct lines of cultivated plants:

  • Elephant garlic Allium ampeloprasum L. var. ampeloprasum. It is selected for its very large bulbs with a flavor similar to garlic or for its pseudo-stem used like leek. It contains three subspecies:
    • Allium ampeloprasum subsp. ampeloprasum var. babingtonii (Borrer) Syme
    • Allium ampeloprasum subsp. ampeloprasum var. bulbiferum Syme
    • Allium ampeloprasum subsp. ampeloprasum var. holmense Asch. & Graebn.
  • The cultivated leekAllium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.) J. Gay - old synonym Allium porrum. It is selected for the large size and whiteness of its pseudostem.
  • Egyptian leek Allium ampeloprasum var. kurrat Schweinf. ex Krause - old synonym Allium kurrat. It is selected for the abundance of its leaves. Grown mainly in the Middle East. (Arabic: كراث)
  • The small onionA. ampeloprasum var. sectivum. It is cultivated for its small bulbs usually eaten in pickles.

Other names: false leek garlic, leek from the Levant.

It should not be confused with Allium ampeloprasum Thunb. which is an unsuccessful synonym of Allium rotundum L.

  1. ↑ France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Elephant garlic makes a small place in Crest in the Drôme - 12/06/2018 - "In Divajeu (Drôme), elephant garlic begins to be cultivated by pioneer producers in the field. A couple embarked on the adventure, with an interesting economic return. More expensive, larger and finer than classic garlic, elephant garlic is of interest to top chefs."
  2. ↑ Aujardin - Elephant garlic file - "He is not a victim of the leek worm. The sulphurous smell that emanates from the bulb repels the fly that visits traditional leeks."

On other Wikimedia projects:

  • Perpetual leek, on Wikimedia Commons
  • summer leek, on the Wiktionary


Smaller than the annual leek, the perpetual leek offers many benefits! Perennial and very rustic (-25 ° C), it accompanies the vegetable garden for an indefinite period. Its nutritional qualities make it an ally in the kitchen all year round. Raw or cooked, it will always find a place in the dining room.

Long abandoned, the perpetual leek (also called wild leek, perennial leek or vine leek) is making its appearance again in gardens!

Indeed, its hardiness, its ease of cultivation (almost no maintenance) and its nutritional and therapeutic qualities make it an ally of the vegetable garden not to be neglected. Raw, it gives salads a slightly tangy and spicy flavor, and when cooked, it fits into many preparations just like "classic" leeks.

Its power of multiplication, a fine example of the bounty of nature, is 10 to 20 per bulbils and several hundred per seeds!

The perpetual leek harvest runs from August to June for existing plantations. For spring transplants, the first harvest will take place between the third and fourth month of cultivation.

Plant the bulbils 5cm deep, spacing them 10cm in all directions or in rows 30cm apart (row cultivation facilitates hoeing and hilling).

Fairly simple to grow, the perpetual leek will adapt to almost any situation! Light, rich soil will undoubtedly improve the yield, but at Kokopelli Farm we get amazing results on the hardest to work plots. The hardiness of the perpetual leek allows a successful cultivation even in difficult gardens! To whiten the barrels, hoe and butter once or twice a season.

February, March, April, August, September, October

January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December

The perpetual leek

The perpetual leek (Allium ampeloprasum), also nicknamed "summer leek" or the Levant, - not to be confused with the wild leek or the leek of the vines (allium polyanthum) - is, like the rocambole previously mentioned, well armed against unfavorable climatic conditions (cold, drought). It exhibits the same ability to self-regenerate by producing new underground bulbs. Year-round, the development of this variety of leek is part of an inverted vegetation cycle, in the sense that it blooms in autumn and goes dormant in summer, a season during which the plant loses its foliage. The period dthe plantation therefore extends from August to November (in bulbils), and the harvest from September to June.
The most consumed parts are its leaves, infused with an aroma a bit sharper than that of cultivated leeks. They are eaten raw (with vinaigrette) or cooked to garnish quiches and samosas (filled donuts) or to punctuate soups, sauces and other court bouillons.


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Perpetual vegetables are vegetables that are planted once and which grow back each year. Thus, we save time, we simplify our life and we obtain a sustainable vegetable garden. These vegetables require less watering than the others, in fact their root system is more developed. In addition, they are resistant to diseases and pests, which makes them essential for the vegetable garden! While the list is not long, there are enough to find yours! Know that some of these vegetables can "live" for up to 10 years!

Some perpetual vegetables from the garden are more easy at plant, cultivate and maintain that others. This is particularly the case with Daubenton cabbage or sorrel, which can be picked up as needed. The leek perpetual is also very practical because it grows back in a few weeks as soon as you cut it!
Artichoke and cardoon, as for them, are enough delicate to grow. They take up space and are sensitive to winter, although they are perennials. The crosnes also are not easy to grow and are slow growing. However, they are easy to eat and prepare. Rhizomes remaining in the ground will re-vegetate in the spring afterwards.

Discover 12 perpetual vegetables to plant in your sustainable vegetable garden.

Where to buy perpetual vegetables?

Online purchase on Kokopelli and the Ferme de Sainte-Marthe

These two sites online seed sales count perpetual vegetables in their products. Organic or labeled, these seeds promise you great harvests! At Kokopelli, the goal is also to keep old varieties alive. Avoid hybrids, rather vegetables from which you can harvest the seeds yourself.

Ecoflora, perpetual vegetables on sale from Belgium

A benchmark for perpetual vegetables! Not less than 150 varieties of perennial vegetables are referenced there. Some are essentials, others are rarities. Do not hesitate to let yourself be surprised.

Video: How to Grow Babingtons Leek - Perennial Leek Propagation