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Three-Cornered Leek

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer Winter Winter

An invasive species brought over to the UK from the Mediterranean, it is an offence under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales to plant or otherwise cause to grow this species in the wild.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Three-Cornered Leek, Snowbell
Scientific Name Allium triquetrum
Season Start Feb
Season End Oct
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


Long, thin and green which if looked at in profile is a very shallow ‘V’ shape. The leaf here is showing the underside.


Hanging in clusters very much like a white bluebells with six petals, each with a green stripe, and flowers from April to June.

Flower Buds

A lanceolate sheath covering the unopened flower.


The flower stem is like the leaves but more triangular in profile than the leaves, hence the common name, Three-Cornered Leek.


Hedgerows, verges, woodland edges, field edges, waste ground and peoples flower beds.

Possible Confusion

Few-Flowered Garlic, pictured, is very similar but has plain white petals and develops bulbils after the flowers.
Snowdrops, young bluebells, young daffodils or some lilies but none of these smell of garlic or onion.




A bit like spring onion or baby leeks or chives.


Fairly uncommon but prolific where established and spreading fast.


All of the plant is edible. The young plants can be uprooted when found in profusion and treated as baby leeks or spring onion, the leaves and flowers can be used in salads or the leaves in soups or stews, the more mature onion like roots can be used as onion or garlic.

Medicinal Uses

All the Alliums are good for high blood pressure in varying degrees.

Other Facts

The juice has been reported as being used as a moth and other insect repellent.


4 comments for Three-Cornered Leek

  1. Annette says:

    The season dates have been reversed. The season for three-cornered leeks starts in October and ends in March.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Hi Annette, I find it all year round except for Summer in some places, only Spring in others and like you Autumn/Winter in the odd place.

  2. mrs maureen patient-saunders says:

    Was wondering what this flower was in my garden. Not had it before. I bought a large bag of wild bird seed last year and they kept throwing out some of the seeds. Now this year I have this plant growing in profusion. It’s very pretty but should I dig it out when not in flower. I don’t really want it to take over the garden.

    1. Poppy Ives says:

      It can be very invasive so I’d keep getting rid of it and eating it if I were you. It will probably come back in some unexpected places anyway.

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