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Three Cornered Leek

A scarce species in Dorset, originating as a garden-escape


  • Three Cornered Leek: a triple treat

    Post date: Friday, 23 January, 2015 - 00:00

    The three cornered or triquetrous leek (Allium triquetrum) is a plant of the western Mediterranean that has found its way into the British flora having become naturalised after spreading from gardens. It is found almost exclusively in south western Britain and is quite common in the Isles of Scilly and coastal areas of Cornwall where I have seen it on visits there.

    It is rare in Dorset but it does occur at Durlston Country Park, usually in flower between April and June which is in line with my reference books which all say exactly that, April to June. Imagine my surprise, then, to find it in flower at the end of December in the middle of Weymouth!

    This is a plant that likes a shaded position, preferably quite damp, so you will find it in damp woods, by shaded stream sides and by stone walls and these in Weymouth were on the earth banks of the north and shaded side of the stone walls of Nothe Fort where there are tall, established trees. Perfect habitat but in flower in December - that must say something about how mild our winters are generally becoming?

    The bulb, stems and flowers are all edible having a mild flavouring of leeks or onions, a triple treat! You can eat them raw or cook them.


Common Name Three Cornered Leek
Scientific Name Allium triquetrum
Species Group Onion Family Alliaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Lily family - Liliaceae
Status Scarce
Flower Colour Group White
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Cluster of trumpet flowers at the top of a single stem
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Onion Family Alliaceae