Herbs & Plants

Allium triquetrum

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Botanical Name: Allium triquetrum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. triquetrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

*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.

Common Names: Three-cornered leek or in New Zealand as onion weed.

Habitat : Allium triquetrum is native to S. Europe. Naturalized in Britain in S.W. England. It grows in hedge banks and waste places on damp soils.

Allium triquetrum produces stems 17–59 cm (6 3?4–23 1?4 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. The tepals are 10–18 mm (13?32–23?32 in) long and white, but with a “strong green line”. Each plant has 2–3 narrow, linear leaves, each up to 15 cm (6 in) long. The leaves have a distinct onion smell when crushed.It is not frost tender.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil. Shade tolerant, it is easily grown in a cool leafy soil and grows well in light moist woodland. Plants are not very hardy outside the milder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. The seeds have an oil-bearing appendage which is attractive to ants. The ants carry the seed away to eat the oil and then discard the seed, thus aiding dispersal of the plant. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. The flowers are sweetly scented. The picked flowers can remain fresh for several weeks. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year if they have developed sufficiently, otherwise grow on in pots for a further year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:  Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. The rather small bulb is up to 20mm in diameter, it has a mild garlic flavour and can be used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. It is harvested in early summer when the plant has died down and will store for at least 6 months. Leaves – raw or cooked. A leek substitute. The leaves are available from late autumn until the spring, they are nice in salads when they are young, or cooked as a vegetable or flavouring as they get older. The leaves have a milder and more delicate flavour than onions. Flowers – raw. Juicy with a mild garlic flavour, they make a tasty and decorative garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:....Repellent……The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


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