by Cindy Guilbert

As a child living surrounded by lanes and fields we used to go picking flowers … primroses, violets, daffodils … and as we walked we would always pick stinking onions and munch away on them.

it was many years later that I learned that they were in fact one of the many wild garlic varieties, Allium Triquetrum. Two other varieties are Allium Ursinum, whose glossy spear-like leaves and white flowers resemble Lily of the Valley,  and Allium Pyrenaicum, whose tall stems and mauve ball clusters of flowers are also often seen in the wild.

This plant is completely edible from the white bell-like flowers, that have a green stripe running down each petal, to  the long bluebell type leaves and the bulb itself.

Stinking Onions

These varieties, along with other commonly-found varieties lurking in woods, hedgerows, lanes and fields, are free and very tasty. You will often smell them before  you spot them, the unmissable fragrance will reassure you that it is wild garlic.

Health benefits

Garlic is a great ally to our health. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antibiotic, it aids in reducing high blood pressure and can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It also helps to balance gut flora and a garlic poultice can aid knee injuries too.

it really is such a versatile little plant.

BEWARE. Wild garlic is toxic to both dogs and cats

wild garlic mauve ball

How to use wild garlic

So how to use this wondrous plant? Wild garlic can be used in the same way as cultivated garlic, with the bulbs offering a super fresh alternative to its commercially grown cousin. The flowers and chopped leaves also make a great addition to salad or they can be used as a tasty and pungent garnish.

The season for wild garlic is very short so why not preserve it a little longer by making a yummy pesto?

Wild garlic pesto(1)

Wild Garlic Pesto

Crush some or all of the plant
Sea salt
Toasted pine nuts
Black pepper
Olive oil
Mix into a smooth paste.
Use immediately or store in a sterilised jar and for extra long storage put the full jars in a pan and boil like you would a jam.

When making meals from your homemade pesto add it in near the end of the cooking time to preserve its delicious fresh flavour.

I’m pretty sure it is also effective at warding off vampires!!!

Enjoy your foraging and the Bounty of Mother Nature!

About Cindy….

As well as my interest in flowers and herbs I make perfumes, paint mandala watercolours and other artworks, make chocolates and dabble in crafts.

If you would like to see my portfolio or have any questions please visit my Naturale Magick Facebook page where you will find photos of my work, or contact me by e-mail at


  1. Yes. The three cornered leek, onion grass, wild garlic. We have it everywhere down here in Cornwall. It was probably bought over here by the romans. It goes mad this time of the year in my part of the country and is certainly garlicky/oniony. It is safe to eat, but make sure it is washed very carefully and thoroughly.
    It is a variety of wild garlic, so is definitely “wild garlic.”

  2. This is not a photo of wild garlic – it is a photo of the non-native invasive Allium triquetrum

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