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Three-cornered Garlic

Allium triquetrum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, hedgerows, meadows, mountains, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland, woodland.

White, 6 petals
The Three-cornered Garlic is named for it's triangular shaped flower stems. The Three-cornered Garlic produces clusters of bell-shaped, white flowers with green vertical stripes through the centre of each petal. The green stripes are a good feature to look for when identifying the plant, helping to separate it from other similar looking species, such as Summer Snowflake and Wild Garlic. Three-cornered Garlic may also be confused with the white flowering variety of Bluebell but the flowers of Bluebell appear in a spike, not together in a cluster at the top of the stem. Insect-pollinated. 6 stamens. Yellow anthers and pollen.
A green, globular capsule, up to 6mm wide.
Glossy green leaves with parallel veins. Trianglar in cross-section. Not hairy. In leaf between February and July.
The leaves strongly smell of garlic when crushed.
Other Names:
Onion Weed, Three-cornered Leek, Tripe Onion, Triquetrous Leek, White Bluebell.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Allium triquetrum, also known as three-cornered leek or triple onion is a species of wild onion native to Europe and Asia. It is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb, and produces a single stem with a dense cluster of linear leaves and small, white, three-petaled flowers, which are arranged in a umbel.

The plant has a strong garlic odor when the leaves are crushed. It is considered a weed by some and can be found in gardens and fields. It is hardy in USDA zones 6-9 and can be found in meadows, gardens, and rocky hills.

The leaves and bulbs are edible, but they have a very strong onion flavor, it is not as commonly used in culinary as other onion species, it is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens instead. It has similar medicinal properties like other Allium species, it has been traditionally used to help with respiratory issues and some studies have reported it to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Three-cornered garlic, also known as Allium triquetrum, is a plant species that belongs to the Alliaceae family. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has become naturalized in many parts of the world. It is a bulbous perennial herb that grows up to 50 cm tall, with slender leaves that are triangular in shape and a stem that is hollow and slender. The plant produces clusters of small white flowers that are bell-shaped and fragrant.

Three-cornered garlic is commonly found in gardens, parks, and along roadsides. It is often used as an ornamental plant because of its delicate and attractive appearance. However, the plant is also known to be invasive and can quickly spread and dominate the surrounding ecosystem.

Despite its invasive nature, three-cornered garlic has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. The plant has a mild garlic-like flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes. The leaves, flowers, and bulbs are all edible and can be used in salads, soups, stews, and sauces. The plant is also rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

In addition to its culinary uses, three-cornered garlic has also been used for medicinal purposes. The plant has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it useful in treating infections. It has also been used to treat digestive issues, such as bloating and gas, and to reduce inflammation in the body.

While three-cornered garlic may have some beneficial uses, it is important to be aware of its potential to become invasive. If you plan to grow this plant in your garden, it is important to monitor its growth and prevent it from spreading to neighboring areas. If you do come across this plant in the wild, it is important to prevent it from spreading by not picking or transplanting it.

hree-cornered garlic has also been used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory problems, such as coughs, colds, and asthma. The plant contains compounds that help to clear the airways and reduce inflammation, making it an effective natural remedy for respiratory issues.

In addition to its medicinal properties, three-cornered garlic has also been used for its insecticidal properties. The plant contains compounds that repel insects, making it useful in controlling pests in the garden. Some studies have also shown that the plant has potential as a natural insecticide in agricultural settings.

Despite its many uses, three-cornered garlic is still considered a weed and is listed as a noxious weed in some areas. It can easily spread and outcompete native plants, leading to a decrease in biodiversity. If you do choose to grow this plant, it is important to keep it contained and prevent it from spreading to neighboring areas.

In terms of cultivation, three-cornered garlic prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. It can be propagated by dividing the bulbs in the fall or by sowing seeds in the spring. The plant is fairly low-maintenance and does not require much attention once established.

Three-cornered garlic is often confused with wild garlic (Allium ursinum) and other Allium species. While they may look similar, three-cornered garlic can be distinguished by its triangular stems and leaves, as well as its bell-shaped flowers. Wild garlic, on the other hand, has round stems and leaves and produces clusters of star-shaped flowers.

One of the unique features of three-cornered garlic is its ability to grow in a variety of conditions, including sandy soil, rocky soil, and even in disturbed areas such as roadsides and abandoned fields. This makes it a hardy plant that can survive in a range of environments.

In terms of conservation, three-cornered garlic is considered an invasive species in many areas and can pose a threat to native plant species. It is important to be aware of its potential to spread and take steps to prevent its introduction into new areas.

Despite its potential to become invasive, three-cornered garlic is still widely cultivated and used for its culinary and medicinal properties. Its mild garlic flavor and delicate appearance make it a popular ingredient in many dishes, and its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a useful natural remedy for a range of health issues.

Another interesting aspect of three-cornered garlic is its role in folklore and mythology. In some cultures, the plant was believed to have magical properties and was used in spells and rituals to ward off evil spirits and protect against illness.

In Greek mythology, three-cornered garlic was associated with the goddess Persephone, who was said to have turned the plant into a flower as a symbol of spring and rebirth. The plant was also used in ancient Roman religious festivals and was believed to have the power to purify and cleanse.

Today, three-cornered garlic is still used in some traditional medicine practices and is sometimes found in herbal supplements and natural remedies. However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand its potential health benefits and any potential side effects.

In conclusion, three-cornered garlic is a plant with a rich history and many uses. While it may have some beneficial properties, it is important to be aware of its invasive nature and take steps to prevent its spread. If you do choose to grow this plant, be sure to monitor its growth and keep it contained. And if you are considering using three-cornered garlic for culinary or medicinal purposes, be sure to do your research and consult with a healthcare professional or expert in herbal medicine.


Three-cornered Garlic filmed at Pennington Flash in Leigh, Lancashire on the 22nd April 2023.


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