Pretty Little Flower or Menacing Alien?


A pretty little flower or menacing alien invader? This flower was in bloom during April and May and a number of people have commented on it. Commonly mistaken for a white Bluebell this is actually the Three Cornered Leek or Three Cornered Garlic. It grows all round the parish, often in private gardens but also alongside the A48 at the top of the Tumble and even on the Wenvoe Village Green. It may look innocuous but it is in fact a notifiable plant under the Countryside and Wildlife Act which means it is illegal to plant it or grow it in the wild. Soil containing seeds or bulbs (in other words any soil in which it has been growing) must be disposed of in a licensed landfill site. The reason is that it does spread rapidly and will soon smother our native wildflowers. It is already a major problem in Cornwall and Devon and one can expect the same to happen here.

It is very easy to identify and distinguish from a Bluebell as it has triangular stems – the latter is round. It also has an onion smell whereas the English Bluebell flower is scented (although the Spanish Bluebell has no scent). It is from the Mediterranean region and was introduced in the mid 18th Century

It is popular with foragers as the leaves and flowers can be added to salads and the bulbs used as a substitute for garlic but don't confuse it with a daffodil bulb which is poisonous. It is in the Allium family which are reportedly good for the heart and high blood pressure. The juice is even claimed to be good as a moth repellent.


Three Corner Garlic