Impressive garlic volunteer

Neen5MI

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
25
Reaction score
58
Points
53
Location
lower Michigan
Hi,

I hope this is the right place to post. I've been growing hardneck garlics for many years. I gave up trying to keep track of separate varieties, just replanted the largest bulbs/cloves. There certainly are porcelain and red skinned representatives present. I relocated my garlic bed 3 years ago due to thistle encroachment, but of course, random garlic plants continue to appear in the old bed. This has been an amazing year for size of heads and cloves for me. I attribute it to weather, because my care has remained consistent. But I've watched a truly enormous stem develop in the old bed and I wonder what it could be. It developed a scape somewhat earlier than my bulk garlic bed, which I did not remove. I remembered to harvest the bulb several days after the rest of the crop, and it is indeed large, and I see that the scape has no bulbil development, only blossoms. I've seen this kind of flower head with ornamental alliums, but never on any of my culinary garlic, and I don't grow ornamental alliums myself. I hope garlic enthusiasts can offer reactions. I will replant all the cloves from this plant, hoping to grow similarly sized bulbs in the future.
IMG_4332.jpeg
IMG_4333.jpeg
IMG_4334.jpeg
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,284
Reaction score
24,601
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
maybe someone in the area had an ornamental that crossed with one of yours. :) interested to see how replanting turns out for you with this.

i've had some odd onions show up including ones that had both flowers/seeds and scapes on top but when replanted they did not repeat (at least so far i've not seen any of them continue these traits).
 

Decoy1

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
155
Reaction score
591
Points
157
Location
Lincolnshire. England
It looks very like Elephant garlic which is an entirely different species actually related to leek. It’s Allium ampeloprasum rather than Allium sativum, bigger than garlic but tasting similar except milder. It often produces those size cloves/bulbils.

Where it might have come from if you’ve never grown it before is a mystery though.
 

Neen5MI

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
25
Reaction score
58
Points
53
Location
lower Michigan
It looks very like Elephant garlic which is an entirely different species actually related to leek. It’s Allium ampeloprasum rather than Allium sativum, bigger than garlic but tasting similar except milder. It often produces those size cloves/bulbils.

Where it might have come from if you’ve never grown it before is a mystery though.
Hmm, interesting theory... I've maintained a "closed herd", meaning I've only planted my own cloves, for many years, until crop failure due to the thistle encroachment. But the purchased seed cloves (that might have included an accidental elephant clove) were only planted in the new bed, so should not explain this.

I didn't mention initially, this plant was well over 5 feet tall, including the flower head. Is that consistent with elephant garlic? Growth from seed also seems unlikely, since I've been messing in the bed every year, to get ahead of the weeds, intending to reestablish it as some kind of productive garden space. I imagine a garlic seed would need 2-3 years to produce a mature bulb.
 

Neen5MI

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
25
Reaction score
58
Points
53
Location
lower Michigan
Yes, I would say that elephant garlic can easily reach 5'. And it's sturdy in all parts - leaf, stem, umbel etc., as your specimen seems to be.
Everything I've read about elephant garlic supports your ID. It even has corms. Where it came from will remain a mystery. I live on 20 mostly wooded acres, well removed from any gardening activity of my neighbors.

Thanks for your help.
 

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,309
Reaction score
14,215
Points
417
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
It looks very like Elephant garlic which is an entirely different species actually related to leek. It’s Allium ampeloprasum rather than Allium sativum, bigger than garlic but tasting similar except milder. It often produces those size cloves/bulbils.

Where it might have come from if you’ve never grown it before is a mystery though.
THAT was MY thought! I am too far north to grow it. Looks lovely!!:hugs
 

Latest posts

Top