19 responses to “Allium sativum (unknown cultivar)”

  1. Ronaldo

    Brazilian purple garlic is really good


  2. Jeanne Erdahl

    I planted elephant garlic (I believe not actually garlic) years ago and new plants pop up every winter from those bulbils that form around the roots of the main bulb. My scapes produce only very handsome blossoms. When I replant an undivided bulb I get a lovely big head the following summer. AND THE DEER DON’T LIKE IT!

  3. Bugscuttle

    I have had great success with the Polish and Russian cultivars. They produce a sharp and flavorful hardneck clove that you really must try if you love garlic!
    I have tried planting bublets and have had great luck with them, once I figured out that they needed a lot more time in the ground. (duh) {I learned EVERYTHING the hard way in gardening!}

  4. mark stephens

    yes, cloves gives you a head of garlic after one season and the bulblets after two seasons. I too learned this the hard way.

  5. Katherine

    I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1979. Gilroy did used to produce a lot of garlic and may have been the world capital, or at least the US capital, for garlic production. But continually growing garlic in the same fields eventually caused problems. They had issues with fungus, and that occurred about the time our relationships with China had warmed up and the Silicon Valley computer industry began taking off and pushing up wages and land value (for homes).

    So, instead of fighting the fungus and disease issues, a lot of the growers and distributers (Christopher Ranch leading the way) starting importing the garlic from China instead of getting it from Gilroy fields.

    Now I think there are better fungicides (plus the fields had a chance to be dormant for awhile), and maybe even some resistant garlic varieties. And there is a huge locavore farm-to-table movement. Some growers are now growing their own and touting it as California field grown. Though I am not sure it is grown in Gilroy–I don’t see that many fields in service for garlic. Not like in the 1980s.

    I grow my own. And yes, it grows really well in the SF Bay Area, softneck varieties especially, planted in October or November, harvested in June. I get large, lovely heads, and I try to rotate which patch of my garden I grow it in to avoid the fungus issues.

    I will try the bulbils–that sounds really interesting. Perhaps if the growers had done that, it would have reduced the fungus and disease issues they had.

  6. Susanne

    my garlic makes flowers, not bulblets.
    my “walking” onions make bulbils like that though.
    And I think one clove planted will produce only one new head, unless I misunderstood the sentence above?

  7. Tiiu Mayer

    I do this with Egyptian walking onions. When they do not have to compete with weeds and can walk over relatively clear garden soil, they root very quickly and grow into handsome, tall plants. The top bulblets are very sturdy and can be stored for long periods of time and still retain viability. I never ate mine, just enjoyed the statuesque hollow stems.

  8. Pat Collins

    I cleave my garlic bulbs into cloves.

  9. Randa

    I’m with Jeanne Erdahl – growing our own garlic is our biggest ‘garden success story’ because the deer don’t eat it! I’ve been growing my own garlic for the past 18 years or so using the same ‘seed’ (i.e. I’m not purchasing new garlic and introducing it to my supply). I had a problem for about three years with Leek Moth, but have managed to eradicate the issue, which is a great relief. No problems with fungus ever. We grow a white variety and a purple variety (one year I foolishly didn’t tag the six varieties I had so now have no idea). Both are beautiful and delicious to cook with – year-round! This is in the province of Ontario, in Canada (zone 5).

  10. Dana D

    My garlic has never set bulbils. My Egyptian Walking Onions (Allium X proliferum) look quite similar to your photo. They hitchhiked when I swapped bulbs with a friend. They took over the bed and have smothered many desirable plants. I now pull them and plop them in an out of the way spot.

  11. Pygge

    In Sweden we have a huge garlic ‘mentor’ (with a garlic club and a nice publication, but sorry – it’s in Swedish), that grows a lot of different sorts from most of the types (I think it’s 15 right now), that garlic is divided into. Some of the groups don’t form bulbils, but most do. Since I’ve been recommended to cut off the flowers/bulbils (so all the energy goes to produce the head), that’s what I do most of the time. The cut-offs can be used fried and taste very nice – or be frozen for later use. Our garlic guru planted at least 50 sorts last year. Last year I planted Chinese White (type 1), Sisert & Tsezar (type 5), Russian Topset (type 7), Russian from CZ (type 4) and Vekan (type 9) and most sent up stems. I prefer type 5, but since I’m into variation I just have to grow a few more. I have planted bulbils too. Mostly to use the ‘leaves’ like chives, but rarely also to make cloves. It works well, but takes more time and has not really been needed – so far. Luckily I’ve had no problems at all. I did also grow a, new to me, ‘relative’ to garlic this year: A. ampeloprasum and another variant: A. a. var. sectivum. Both were planted last autumn, formed cloves with little ‘baby cloves” hanging from the head and smelt and tasted like garlic. I like them and will plant them again this autumn. Thanks to our garlic guru I’ve gotten a few other interesting Allium species too. I see that some here mention A. x proliferum. I’ve had it for many years now and I love it. Everyone visiting, for the first time, comments on them and early greens is not something we are spoiled with here (I grow them as perennials, just like my A. fistulosum).
    Also when you get only one big garlic clove: it’s usually because it didn’t get enough winter cold. That’s one reason to plant them in the autumn. You can plant garlic in the spring too, but then you’ll get the ‘one cloved wonders’. Or make them like they do in parts of Asia, cover the garlic with straw to keep them warm.
    From ‘the garlic letter’ we were sent from our guru, this year – here are most of the garlic types (type names with both ‘Swedish’ and American names) as it looks right now – a lot of research is apparently happening.
    Type 1: French/Artichoke. DNA: AABA. Big cloves & heads. White or lilac/white. Usually no flowers, but some years a short stem with bulbils can appear. This depends on the weather during our, a bit unpredictable, springs.
    Type 2: Silverskin. DNA BAAB. Not so big heads here in Sweden. White.
    Type 3: Topset/Rockambole: DNA is not analysed. Medium sized heads. Purple striped. 80 cm tall stems with big (7-8 mm) bulbils and no flowers.
    Type 4: Wild type/Porcelain. DNA: AABB. Medium to big heads and medium sized cloves. White/pinkish. 1,5 -1,8 m high stems with small bulbils (2×3 mm) and lots of flowers.
    Type 5: Central Asian/Purple Stripe: DNA: DEBB. Big heads with big cloves. White/purple/sometimes a little striped. 1 m high stem with bulbils (5-7 mm) and few flowers. This is a great group for the kitchen!!
    Type 6: Ealy Asian/Turban. DNA: AAAB. Medium sized heads & cloves. Bright purple stripes. 60 cm stem with small bulbils (3×4 mm) and few flowers.
    Type 7: Russian Topset: DNA is not analysed. Medium sized heads & cloves. White with purple stripes and spots. 1 m high stem with big bulbils and few flowers.
    Type 8: Kreol: DNA:BAAB (same as type 2). Small to medium sized heads. White or lightly striped. 60-70 cm high stems with few small bulbils (1x3mm).
    Type 9: Wild Type II/Glaced Purple Stripe: DNA: BABB. Medium sized heads & cloves. Reddish purple, slightly striped. 1,5 m high stem with small bulbils (2x3mm) and many reddish flowers.
    Type 10: Pekingense: DNA: ACBB. Medium sized heads & cloves. White or purple striped. 70 cm high stem with small bulbils (1x3mm).10 days earlier than type 1.
    Type 11: Frunze-Samarkand. DNA: AABB. Small – medium sized heads here in Sweden – it’s not very happy about out summers. White with light purple stripes. 80 cm high stems with few small bulbils.
    Type 12: Frunze II: DNA: BACB. Small – medium sized heads. Cloves with light purple stripes. 1 m high stems with small bulbils and flowers.
    Hopefully I typed it all right. Maybe more facts than anyone wanted, but since we got a great list sent to us, why not share it with you.

    1. Natasha

      Thanks very much Pygge for your terrific information!

    2. Pat Collins

      Fascinating that there are so many types. Do they differ in flavour and texture?

      Have you heard of Allium xiphopetalum? It was “much used for pickling” in the north of Afghanistan Regarded as a wild garlic, it is small with “a powerful garlic odour”. Though one botanist calls it an abominable odour.

  12. michael aman

    I have read that you can tell if garlic in the grocery store is from China by looking at the root attachment. If the dried roots are scooped out, the cloves are from China. Is this true? I would much rather buy garlic produced in the USA.

  13. Nette

    @michael aman: I used to buy my garlic in Chinatown (San Francisco.) When I balked at the price that one merchant had set (it was 5X the price of another store two blocks away,) he said that his garlic was grown in California and the other (which admittedly was smaller, but sold in packs of 5) was from China. It could be hype but I bought from him.

  14. davewest

    Bulbils form in the leaf axils on the stem as with Tiger Lily.

  15. bill barnes

    sure wish you had a search feature

    1. Wendy Cutler

      Not sure what you mean. For BPotD and other university pages, there is a search icon on the very top of the page, on the right. The dropdown arrow leads to searches of the other university pages.

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