Garlic Family Tree

Here are the vital stastics you'll need to know about the various types of garlic.

Family: Liliaceae

The lily family contains more than 4,000 species, including common garden flowers such as daylilies and trillium. Some botanists now classify Alliums into their own family, Aliaceae.

Genus: Allium (includes garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots)

Species: Allium sativum (cultivated garlic)

Varieties: hardneck and softneck

Subvarieties:

Hardneck

  • rocambole
  • porcelain
  • purple stripe
  • marbled purple stripe
  • glazed purple stripe

Softneck

  • artichoke
  • Asiatic
  • turban
  • silverskin
  • silverskin Creole

Rocambole, purple stripe, silverskin -- there are many options when it comes to garlic. The type you choose and how you prepare it combine to determine its healing properties and flavor. You can even grow your own, and you don't have to be an expert to do it. This article will show you how to make the most of your garlic, and enjoy every bit -- and bite -- of it. Here's a preview of what you'll learn:

  • Types of GarlicChefs all over the world put garlic to use in their kitchens. But not all varieties have the same health-affirming properties as the kind you find in the store. And even the type, known as culinary garlic, is separated into different subsets, all of which differ in flavor, clove size, shelf life, and use. On this page you'll learn the difference between hardneck and softneck garlic and the different varieties of each.
  • How to Grow GarlicGarlic grows well under most conditions and requires little maintenance, so expert gardners and green-thumbs in all climates can grow it in their gardens. The hardy little bulb is tough enough to make it through the winter, so you can plant it in late fall and forget about it. This page will teach you when to plant garlic, how to plant it, and how to know when it's time to harvest.
  • How to Store GarlicDon't bother with the refrigerator -- whole bulbs of garlic will keep for several months or more when stored at room temperature in a dry, dark place that has ample air circulation. In fact, you don't want to put whole bulbs in the fridge because they might grow mold. The same goes for plastic bags -- keep your garlic in wire mesh or egg cartons. Get more tips on how to store garlic, before and after you remove the cloves, on this page.
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