Three Cornered Garlic or Leek (Allium triquetrum)

Allium triquetrum
In season, fields of white can be seen

Common names: Three Cornered Garlic, Three Cornered Leek, Onion Weed

Taxonomic name: Allium triquetrum

Family: Amarylidaceae

Uses: food

Area of origin: South Western Europe

Warnings: none

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

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

Three Cornered Garlic has a few names, all alluding to the three cornered cross section of the leaves and the garlicky nature of its odour.

While there’s not a lot of info about Three 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, Three 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!

To identify them, look for lots of pretty white flowers and soft, fat, grass like leaves with a thick midrib. 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. as there are three distinct corners.

Triangular cross section of a leaf.

The leaves have a very distinct midrib.

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