Are you preparing your bed to plant garlic this season? Hold on for a bit. Do you know there are several types of garlic beside the ones found in grocery stores? In this feed we will get to know different types of Garlic plants with its classification.
Garlic is a perennial plant from the allium family. It is an easy to grow plant that requires very little maintenance. It grows in diverse climatic conditions and can be stored for several months for use in your meals. Garlic contains between 10 and 20 bulbs depending on species. Garlic is quite popular as itis used as an ingredient in meals all over the world.
Growing this plant requires a few conditions to be met. Check this article for the full garlic growing guide. Not only is garlic delicious when used in meals, but they are also highly nutritious. They are a great source of vitamin A and C, phosphorus, potassium, amino acids, and selenium.
Garlic is generally classified into two main sub-groups. They are either hard necks or softnecks.
Hardneck garlic is believed to have originated from wild garlic because of its complex flavors. They produce hardy stems and tend to do better in colder regions. When it comes to storage, hardnecks do not store as long as the softnecks, so if you must enjoy its flavors in good condition, you have to consume them early.
Some hardneck varieties can last up to 10 months, but it is typical to find most types lasting around 6 months. They have papery backs that are easy to peel off. Hardnecks have fewer but larger cloves.
Unlike the hardneck species, this group produces fewer sturdy stems. Still, it has more rigid backs, making it a little more challenging to peel off. Softneck garlic is the species you’re most likely to find in grocery stores because they store well.
Because they do not develop a flowering scape like the hardnecks, their stalks stay soft. They produce numerous but smaller cloves. There are also fewer varieties available, unlike the hardnecks.
Types of Garlic Plants
There are about 11 types of garlic plants, with 9 being hardnecks, while the other 2 are softnecks. The hundreds of garlic varieties all stem from these 11 types. Let’s take a look at them below.
1. Artichoke Softneck Garlic
This softneck garlic variety got its name from the artichoke plant because of how the cloves overlap each other around the bulb. They produce between 12 and 25 cloves and are the most productive and comfortable to grow compared to types of garlic available.
It needs well-draining, fertile loamy soil to grow and thrives under both full sun and partial shade. A mature artichoke garlic plant can be about 2 feet tall, making it an ideal container plant.
2. Silverskin Softneck Garlic
This is the type you’ll most likely find in supermarket shelves because they are long-lasting and can stay up to a year without getting damaged. They produce between 12 and 20 bulbs with delicate and smooth bulb wrappers.
Silverskin is a high yielding variety that has adapted to different climates. Mature plants grow up to 2 feet tall, and they have the same soil and sun condition as artichoke garlic.
3. Turban Hardneck
Turban hardneck is a fast-growing garlic type with about 5 to 8 large cloves forming a circle around the center. Its wrappers are colorful with red/purple stripes or patches.
One unique feature is its hot taste, although some cultivars will have mild flavors for some seconds before turning into a hot taste that usually starts from the back of the mouth. A few other varieties are garlicky without the hot, pungent taste.
4. Purple Stripe Hardneck
As the name implies, the wrapper has purple stripes with cloves that are tan colored. Purple stripe hardneck is perhaps the oldest garlic as botanists have discovered through genetic testing. Even its flavor indicates a pure taste.
Its cloves are smaller than the typical hardneck species, but they are evenly formed, making them easy to break off. Its tight wrappers make them last a little longer when stored.
5. Rocambole Hardneck Garlic
Rocambole is a highly popular hardneck garlic type with a round and robust garlic. Its strong garlic flavor is supplemented with the mild heat it produces. It can be roasted or used in meals.
Its cloves are usually between 8 and 12 while its wrappers are loose, making it easy to peel. Its loose wrappers mean it will not store well. The cloves are covered in reddish-brown skin while its wrappers are red, purple, or pink.
6. Porcelain Hardneck Garlic
Probably the most complete garlic type. The porcelain hardnecks are tall and lush with its large bulbs, making it an attractive option. Like most hardnecks, it is comfortable in Northern climates while doing better in Southern climates than many other hardnecks.
This garlic type stores well for a hardneck. A mature plant can grow up to 6 feet tall, and they produce giant bulbs with cloves numbering between 2 and 6.
7. Marbled Purple Stripe Hardneck
The marbled purple stripe garlic is genetically different from the purple stripe. It has a brownish-purple wrapper. This garlic type is growing in popularity because of its consistent taste and size and considerably long storage life (about 6 months).
It has between 5 and 7 cloves, and a mature plant can grow up to 5 feet tall. The cloves are smooth and are covered in red and cream skin.
8. Middle Eastern Hardneck Garlic
This garlic is very popular among the types of garlic, originated from the Middle East and is not very common because it is best suited to the Middle East’s warm climatic conditions. Its cloves are covered in a brown skin while its wrappers contain purple stripes.
The plant has narrow leaves and can grow up to 3 feet tall.
9. Creole Hardneck Garlic
This garlic has a charming rose-colored small bulb. It is one of the best options if you want to grow garlic in the US. Creole Hardneck Garlic is highly adaptable and is somewhat drought resistant. It has a blissful flavor with a hot taste that quickly fades away, leaving a more appealing aftertaste.
As already stated, its cloves are small and are either purple or red. The number of cloves has about 8 to 12 cloves per bulb and can store for up to 10 months.
10. Asiatic Hardneck garlic
This vibrantly colored garlic type produces medium-sized cloves of about 4 to 8 cloves per bulb. They originated from Korea and are quite popular in Asian cooking.
The Asiatic hardneck’s flavor varies between species, with some having a hot taste and others a spicy taste. This versatile type of garlic has something for everybody. The shelf life of the Asiatic garlic is about 6 months.
11. Glazed Purple Stripe Hardneck Garlic
They may have similar names to marbled purple stripe and purple stripe, but they are genetically different. It produces large bulbs with about 6 to 12 cloves depending on cultivars. Its wrappers have silvery-purple/gold tones and have a metallic appearance.
This garlic type is tender with a thin outer skin. They have a mild flavor and can last between 5 and 7 months after harvest.
Garlic is typically a low maintenance plant with very few species requiring special attention. Garlic is a popular ingredient in meals worldwide, but not many people know there is more than one type.
I hope this guide has been able to rectify that and give you more options when it comes to garlic flavor in your meals.