Wild garlic is an herbaceous plant diffused in the park adjacent to the Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi in Desio, and which in spring spreads its flowers and perfume throughout the underwood, offering visitors attractive landscape features.
This is a bulb of the Liliaceae family, with white and crimson umbrella-shaped inflorescences that appear in numerous groups in the shady zones of the villa’s romantic garden, and in spring endow an expanse that resembles a soft and delicate cloud dotted with white flowers. The flower contrasts with the flat, broad and elliptical leaves that recall those of the lily of the valley, but are greener and more brilliant.
A slight breeze and a ray of sunlight filter through the weft of branches of the Linden, horse chestnut gingko and buttonwood trees, and the gay songs of birds amongst the fronds of the trees, infuse in those who are able to heed the call of the earth and the inebriating wood, the sweet sense of fulfillment with the arrival of spring. This event repeats itself in every park of the Brianza region, and is to be considered not as an exhibition garden or an urban furnishing, but a complex and perfect choreography comprehensible to all who let themselves be cradled by the light diffused, the fresh and clear colours, and captivating perfumes that can satisfy all the senses.
An example of an underwood similar to that of the Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi can be found in Monza, in the park and gardens of the Royal Villa where the variety of the environments highlight the widely diffused flowers like the bear garlic and the daisy or other plant essences that are difficult to scout out but must be looked for with patience, like the wild orchid, the Cephalantera longiflora.
The name Allium originates from a Celtic term referring to a “tart” or “sharp” sensation as that of garlic. The plant in fact, contains an essential oil that confers a pungent, penetrating odour, which in medicine was used as hypotensive and depurative drugs and a rubefacient.
In the kitchen the young leaves, thinly chopped, can be used to aromatise salads, boiled potatoes, omelets, aperitif biscuits and other typical delights of popular cuisine. The narrow and white bulb instead, can substitute for the common garlic. The fruit is a capsule containing semi-round and dark seeds.
The particular wild garlic found in the Desio park, owes its name to the adjective ursinum that, according to some botanists, refer to the form of the leaves that vaguely recall the ears of a bear. Other botanists attribute the name to the lower quality of this type of garlic, that would thus be worthy only for the palate of bears.