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Allium sativum is often confused with:
Allium vineale Purplish flowers (Guilford County, NC)-Late Spring
Native alternative(s) for Allium sativum:
Allium canadense Flowers
Allium cuthbertii Form in bloom
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium sativum var. sativum Form
Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon Growing in the garden
Allium cepa shallots

Camphor of the Poor Allium sativum

Phonetic Spelling
AL-ee-um sa-TEE-vum
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Garlic is a member of the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family native to Asia.  Its bulbs are composed of tightly packed cloves with a thin paper skin. They are highly edible and are a popular vegetable garden plant. 

Choose a location with loose, fertile, well-drained soil in full sun and mulch the soil to help prevent competition from weeds.   Space cloves 6 to 8 inches apart and 2 to 3 inches deep. in North Carolina plant individual cloves from late October to November, possibly through December in more southern areas, for a May to June harvest time. The cloves require at least 4-6 weeks to get established before the ground freezes. Cut back on watering before harvest time to prevent bulb rot. To increase the size of the bulb, the flower stem (scape) should be removed.  This delicacy is edible raw or cooked.  

Harvest garlic when about half of the leaves have started turning brown. Garlic needs to cure after digging in a warm dry place out of the sun. Once the leaves have completely dried you can remove the leaves, roots, and outer wrapping and store in a dry cool area but do not refrigerate.

Garlic does not have problems being planted near black walnut trees and is resistant to browsing by deer.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant may cause contact dermatitis in some people.  Wear gloves when handling.  

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Music', var. ophioscorodon, var. sativum
Tags:
#bulb#edible plant#mass planting#tunicated bulb#deer resistant#edible leaves#cool season vegetable#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#black walnut toxicity tolerant#edible bulbs#contact dermatitis#early childhood
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Music', var. ophioscorodon, var. sativum
Tags:
#bulb#edible plant#mass planting#tunicated bulb#deer resistant#edible leaves#cool season vegetable#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#black walnut toxicity tolerant#edible bulbs#contact dermatitis#early childhood
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Allium
    Species:
    sativum
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia and Iran
    Edibility:
    Flowers have a mildly bitter flavor and like young leaves can be eaten in small quantities raw in salads and sandwiches or cooked in tea and soups. The bulbs are eaten raw or cooked and used to flavor many dishes. However, the plant also has poisonous characteristics as noted in the "Poisonous to Humans" section of this record. Toxicity can depend on the age of the person or animal, the age of the plant, the part of the plant ingested, how much is ingested, whether the person or animal has sensitivities or allergies, whether it's eaten raw or cooked, and so forth. Consult with a medical professional for further details.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Cool Season Vegetable
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Capsule on top of the flowering stalk. Splits open when ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Long, thin and grass-like. Brighter green than other cultivated alliums.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Naked green scape
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia), blood in urine, weakness, high heart rate, panting
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    N-propyl disulfide, diallyl disulfide
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes