Garlic varieties

Garlic varieties: the 20 best varieties at a glance

Tried and tested, resistant or even strange – garlic has many facets. Find out which types of garlic you shouldn’t miss here.

Garlic ( Allium sativum ) has become an integral part of most kitchens and is now also grown in many gardens. Unfortunately, you often only see a few standard varieties romping about in the beds – garlic has a wide variety of different and sometimes exotic varieties to offer.

Varieties of garlic: how many are there?

In general, garlic can first be differentiated according to its use. “Normal” garlic describes those varieties from which the cloves of garlic are harvested and used in the kitchen. In the case of cut garlic varieties, only the hearty green is harvested and used in the kitchen. The flower is a special delicacy for many types of garlic chives. It is not exactly known how many types of garlic there are in total. In food production alone, up to 200 varieties are said to be in use. In addition, there are almost forgotten lover varieties, numerous conservation varieties, and countless wild varieties.

Garlic varieties: the 20 best varieties at a glance
White garlic varieties like ‘Chledor’ are well-tried classics 

The best types of garlic

There are many different types of garlic around the world – some snow-white, others bright pink-violet in color. In cultivation, this is noticeable not only in the ripening period but also in the development of flower stems and the number of toes. Even the taste and shelf life differ significantly. We give an overview of the two large groups of garlic and introduce you to different varieties and their properties.

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Softneck garlic

The varieties cultivated worldwide mostly come from the softneck group ( Allium sativum var. Sativum ), which does not develop a hard flower stalk. It is comparatively undemanding and only blooms very rarely in bad weather. These softneck variants are easier to harvest and easy to braid. They usually have several rows of garlic cloves, taste mild to hot, and can be stored for about eight to twelve months. These include the two subgroups artichoke and Silverskin garlic as well as the varieties:

‘Arno’: Typical type of garlic with white skin and a full-bodied taste. It also impresses with high yields and rapid growth.

‘Cledor’: Classically white garlic variety with a strong flavor; slowly growing, but with a particularly good shelf life.

‘Germidour’: Also known as the “King of Garlic” due to its fine, spicy, mild aroma and good shelf life. ‘Germidour’ is resistant to many viral diseases, has an early ripening period, and forms interesting purple-white patterned bulbs and pink toes.

‘Polish Softneck’: A type of garlic that is particularly known for its exceptionally good cooking properties. It also hardly loses any of its intense, peppery garlic taste when processed. It is easy to care for in the bed and is therefore also suitable for beginners in garlic cultivation.

‘Thermidrome’: Particularly robust and high-yielding garlic variety with visually appealing, violet-veined toes. It is characterized by very good shelf life.

‘Vivalto’: Convinces with pink and aromatic cloves of garlic. The early variety is ready for harvest as early as July. It is considered to be particularly easy to care for and therefore suitable for beginners.

Garlic varieties: the 20 best varieties at a glance
Artfully curved shoots can be found in snake garlic 

Hardneck garlic

The varieties of the Hardneck group ( Allium satium var. Ophioscorodon ) form a flower stalk in the middle of the daughter bulbs, whereby the upper part of the shoot rotates like a snake in different directions. Eight subgroups are summarized under “hardneck” or snake garlic: Rocambole, the cold-tolerant porcelain garlic, Purple Stripe, Glazed Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, and the creole, turban, and Asiatic garlic varieties, which only sometimes develop air drives. The following varieties belong to the group of hardneck garlic:

‘Ajo Rosa’: Attractive variety with a distinct pink color on the skin. It brings high yields and a hot, spicy taste to the kitchen.

Ajo Morado‘: Red-violet garlic that is mainly grown in Spain. Like many Spanish varieties, this one is also famous for its sharpness and pronounced garlic taste.

‘Chesnok Wight’: British garlic with a very mild, pleasant aroma. This hardneck variety is also particularly suitable for raw enjoyment.

Garlic varieties: the 20 best varieties at a glance
Pink-colored garlic varieties are not only convincing visually 

‘Edenrose’: Pink-peeled garlic with a mildly spicy, slightly sweet aroma. The tasty foliage and inflorescences can also be consumed. ‘Edenrose’ also impresses with its good shelf life.

‘Korean Farmer’: Asian type of garlic with particularly intense heat. It goes well with spicy dishes such as curry.

Solo garlic: The garlic round is produced in the first year when the garlic is propagated via bulbils, i.e. brood buds, and not via cloves. The garlic is particularly easy to peel and has a pleasantly mild taste. It is sometimes offered in markets but is not in itself a separate variety of garlic.

Garlic varieties: the 20 best varieties at a glance
As around, the solo garlic does not yet have individual cloves

Elephant garlic ( Allium ampeloprasum subsp. Ampeloprasum ): Garlic relative with an enormous size of up to 7 cm for the tubers and 1.5 m for the leaves. In terms of taste, elephant garlic is less intense than garlic and can therefore be prepared like vegetables.

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