Types of Garlic

There may be upwards of six-hundred types of garlic being grown world-wide.
Botanists have recently identified ten distinct and overarching varieties of garlic: Porcelain, Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, Glazed Purple Stripe, Rocambole, Creole, Asiatic, Turban, Artichoke and Silverskin.

These types can be even further simplified as hardnecks (Ophioscorodon) and softnecks (Sativum). The hard-neck garlics (purple stripe, porcelains, asiatics, rocamboles) are often thought of as more colorful and more tasteful with fewer yet larger cloves on each bulb than the softnecks (silverskins, artichokes). They do better in cooler climates (the rocamboles and purple stripes love frigid winters and cool, wet springs) but require more effort to grow as they must have their scapes snipped off and must also be planted right side up. Because softnecks are easier to plant mechanically, mature faster and are adaptable to a wide range of climates, nearly all the garlic we see in our supermarkets comes from this sub-group – particularly silverskins. The flexible stocks of softskins also make this sub-group easier to plait and store. It is thought that the original, wild garlics were all hardnecks while the softnecks are the result of millennia of selective breeding.

The different varieties have uses that go beyond their ability to be planted mechanically or not. Roasting Garlic? Try the Purple Stripes. You can ID these types by noticing the rather vibrant purple stripes running down the wrapper. They are large and rich tasting. Once roasted, their flavor is incredibly sweet. The very large cloves of the Porcelains, on the other hand, are very pungent, even spicy, and are best used when you’d like to achieve a smokier flavor. Rocamboles have a dirty brown appearance but tend to be the favorite of garlic lovers.

Whatever the variety, remember that almost all garlics seem to be highly adaptable and after a few seasons in your garden you’ll have a sub-type that works for you!

Sample Garlic Types

Porcelains

  • Yugoslavian garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Wild Buff garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Dan’s Russian garlic
  • Magical garlic
  • Fish Lake Three garlic
  • Georgian Crystal garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Georgian Fire garlic
  • Leningrad garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Music garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Magnificent garlic
  • Italian garlic
  • Ukrainian garlic
  • Susan Delafield garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Rosewood garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Northern Quebec garlic
  • German Stiffneck garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • German White garlic

    Purple Stripes

  • Siberian garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Czech Broadleaf garlic
  • Brown Tempest garlic
  • Chesnok Red garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Vekek garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Red Rezan garlic
  • Persian Star garlic
  • Metechi garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Bogatyr garlic
  • Purple Glaze garlic

    Rocambole

  • Spanish Roja garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Purple Max garlic
  • Mountain Top
  • Carpathian (See photo on this page.
  • Korean Purple garlic
  • Killarney Red garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • German Red garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Colorado Black garlic
  • Bavarian Purple garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Baba Franchuk’s garlic

    Other garlic types

  • Asian Tempest garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Chinese Purple garlic
  • Inchelium Red garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • Wildfire garlic
  • Thai garlic
  • Sweet Haven garlic
  • Sicilian Gold garlic (See photo on this page.)
  • { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    heather March 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    how do you know that there are over six hundred types of garlic?
    because i am writing a paper on it and i need details.

    Hashim Al-Ghemary April 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    thank u so, much for this useful informations

    Best Regards

    Hashim Al-Ghemary

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