3 Cornered Garlic or Leek (Allium triquetrum)

Allium triquetrum
In season, fields of white can be seen


It’s a weird year around Gawler for some plants. Usually by now, little snowflakes are appearing in our parks and on our roadsides. This year, there aren’t many yet, but down south, they’re starting to be seen.

What am I carrying on about? The flowers of the 3 Cornered Garlic plant (Allium triquetrum) that’s what.


Clumps of 3 Cornered Garlic appear in moist places
Clumps of 3 Cornered Garlic appear in moist places


I’m lucky that for this post, our FB friend , Crystal Gane was kind enough to send me some pics so that I could get this post done and this delicious herb onto your plates. Thanks Crystal for supplying the first 3 pics for this page

3 Cornered Garlic has many names, all alluding to the 3 cornered leaves and the garlicky nature of its odour.


The green line is a distinguishing feature
Clusters of flowers with a green line on each petal


While there’s not a lot of info about 3 Cornered garlic’s use as a herbal remedy, I assume that because it’s in the Onion family (Alliaceae), and has the characteristic smell of that family, it is chock full of sulphur compounds.

These compounds not only give this family their smell, but their reputation as system cleaners, digestive tonics and lowerers of cholesterol. I love onions and their kin and recommend they be included in everybody’s diets.

To cook with it, you can use the small bulbs that form, and can be harvested in summer when, true to its family, 3 Cornered Garlic’s leaves die back. but why wait? Just snip off a few leaves and add them to your meal. My favourite way to eat them is raw with cheese, some folks recommend lightly frying them, but I can’t wait that long!


supporting rib
The long, soft, leaves have a supporting rib


To identify them, look for lots of pretty white flowers and soft, fat, grass like leaves. The flowers are white and have a distinguishing green line in the middle of each petal. If you pick a leaf and look at it in cross section, it will be clear where both the common and botanic names come from.


the 3 corners that give this plant its name
Cut a leaf and look at the midsection, you can see the 3 corners that give this plant its name


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