Allium triquetrum

Three-cornered leek
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. triquetrum
Binomial name
Allium triquetrum
  • Allium medium G.Don
  • Allium opizii Wolfner
  • Allium triquetrum var. bulbiferum Batt. & Trab.
  • Allium triquetrum f. normale (L.) Maire & Weiller
  • Allium triquetrum var. typicum (L.) Regel
  • Briseis triquetra (L.) Salisb.

Allium triquetrum is a bulbous flowering plant in the genus Allium (onions and garlic) native to the Mediterranean basin. It is known in English as three-cornered leek (or in New Zealand as onion weed);[3] both the English name and the specific epithet triquetrum refer to the three-cornered shape of the flower stalks.[4]


Allium triquetrum is native to south-western Europe, north-western Africa, Madeira and the Canary Islands, where it grows in meadows, woodland clearings, on river banks and roadside verges from sea level to an altitude of 850 metres (2,790 ft).[5] It has also been introduced to the British Isles, New Zealand, Turkey, Australia, California, Oregon, and South America.[5][6][7]


Allium triquetrum produces stems 17–59 cm (6 3423 14 in) tall, which are concavely triangular in cross-section. Each stem produces an umbel inflorescence of 4–19 flowers in January–May in the species' native environment.[5] The tepals are 10–18 mm (13322332 in) long and white, but with a "strong green line".[8] Each plant has 2–3 narrow, linear leaves, each up to 15 cm (6 in) long.[5] The leaves have a distinct onion smell when crushed.

Culinary uses

All parts of the plant, from the bulb to the flowers, are edible fresh (for example in pestos)[9] or cooked,[10] with "a subtle flavour like leek or spring onion".[11]


  1. 1 2 The Plant List
  2. Tropicos
  3. "Allium triquetrum". New Zealand Plant Conservation Network page.
  4. Hyam, R. & Pankhurst, R.J. (1995), Plants and their names : a concise dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 18, ISBN 978-0-19-866189-4
  5. 1 2 3 4 C. Aedo. S. Castroviejo; et al., eds. "Allium L." (PDF). Flora Iberica. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  6. "Allium triquetrum". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2013.
  7. "Onionweed, Allium triquetrum". Wild Picnic, a gallery of useful and edible plants in Wellington and the Wairarapa, New Zealand.
  8. Clive A. Stace (1997). "Allium L. – Onions". New Flora of the British Isles (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 936–941. ISBN 978-0-521-58935-2.
  9. Shaw, Hank. "Hunter Angler Gardener Cook". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  10. Clay, Xanthe. "Recipes made from nature's supermarket". The Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  11. Pozzi, Doris. "Hello Little Weed – Recipes". Retrieved 27 March 2013.

External links

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