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Garlic is one of the oldest medicinal and spice plants. It is impossible to imagine the kitchen without it. The tubers are available in different varieties. The vegetative differences lie in the shape, size, color, intensity of smell and, above all, in the taste. Some are very similar. Therefore, below you will find the most common types of garlic divided into old, new and mild specimens.

types of garlic

Garlic has been popular for centuries. The tubers primarily come from three specific species and offer something for every requirement and taste.

garden garlic

Garden garlic (Allium sativum), also known as common garlic, is the classic and best-known of the garlic varieties.
This type of garlic is particularly important in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asian regions and is therefore ideal for Mediterranean, Arabic and Asian dishes. But garden garlic also has unlimited uses in German cuisine.

appearance and properties

  • Growth height: up to 90 centimeters
  • Bluish-green leaf color
  • Bulbous onion with one main clove and between five and 20 subsidiary cloves growing around
  • Onion color: white-pink to red
  • Easily removable shell skin
  • Firm consistency
  • Sticky toe juice
  • Taste: young cloves very mild - usually the sharpness increases enormously with age
  • Special features: leave breath smelling strongly of garlic

Chinese Garlic

Chinese garlic (Allium tuberosum) is also known as solo or single garlic. This is the generic term for several varieties, which in turn are sold as chives because the leaves are just as suitable for consumption as those of conventional chives (Allium schoenoprasum). These garlic varieties originally come from China and have been available in Germany for many years, but most varieties are among the rarer specimens.

appearance and properties

  • Growth height: between 40 to 50 centimeters
  • Long-stemmed, upright leaves, like those of chives
  • Formation of white flowers at stem ends
  • Onion bulb has only one clove
  • Bulb color: white
  • Toe shell creamy white with slightly brownish or reddish discolouration
  • Firm consistency
  • Taste: very mild
  • Special features: no usual "garlic breath" - freshly harvested leaves can be used like chives and have a slight garlic taste - blossom is edible and a delicacy in Asia

elephant garlic

The elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) presents itself as an old cultivated plant, which is actually not real garlic at all because it belongs to the garden leek. The plant is considered one of the least sensitive to cold, heat, moisture and drought. Therefore, the cultivation of elephant garlic is also very popular among those who have little experience with self-cultivation. Under ideal conditions, some specimens have already grown to a weight of 60 kilograms, which is why they are also called giant garlic.

appearance and properties

  • Growth height: up to 180 centimeters
  • Long-stemmed, upright leaves, like those of chives
  • Onion bulb consists of a main clove and three to five side cloves
  • Bulb color: white to yellowish white
  • Tuber is more reminiscent of a vegetable onion
  • Can be pressed in easily
  • Pure white flesh
  • Taste: unusually mildly spicy, aromatic
  • Special features: mild smell, plant very undemanding and easy to care for

Ancient varieties of garlic

With A

Ajo pink (Allium sat. 'Ajo pink')

This garlic variety got its name from the intense pink-red color. The Ajo rosa is one of the oldest varieties in Spain and inspires with an unmistakable aroma.


  • Growth height: between 50 and 60 centimeters
  • Pink tips of the toes
  • Small to medium sized toes
  • Tubers usually smaller than classic garlic varieties
  • Taste: aromatic and slightly spicy
  • Special features: very pleasant to work with and can be eaten raw or cooked, good shelf life

Aquila (Allium sativum 'Aquila')

Aquila garlic originally comes from Italy and should not be missing from any pasta dish. The big toes that form around the main toe are particularly prominent, which is why some young specimens only have two or three toes.


  • Growth height: 30 to 90 centimeters
  • Compact growth
  • Toes: relatively large in the first year
  • Toe color: white-purple striped
  • Taste: very spicy and aromatic
  • Special features: intense fragrance, harvest can be stored over the winter

Arno (Allium ampeloprasum 'Arno')

The "Arno" variety is one of the classics among the tried and tested specimens in Germany. It is characterized by a medium-strong aroma, which is ideal for those who find the garlic taste too mild and too much spicy.

Appearance and features:

  • Growth height: about 20 centimeters
  • Annual
  • Blooms in August
  • Basic color: white
  • White flesh
  • Flavor: full-bodied flavor, medium flavorful
  • Special features: fast growing, very productive

Aveiro (Allium sativum 'Aveiro')

The Aveiro Knobi comes from Portugal and is one of the garden garlic varieties. Contrary to the typical characteristics of garden garlic, however, this strain does not leave such a strong garlic-scented breath. But the high flavor intensity makes it the ideal choice for true garlic lovers.


  • Growth height: 30 to 90 centimeters
  • upright growth
  • Toe color: red-purple
  • Has only one toe
  • Taste: the older, the sharper, full-bodied
  • Special features: unpleasant smell of garlic after consumption

From B - H

Bella Italia (Allium sativum 'Bella Italia')

The Bella Italia comes from Tuscany and is an ancient garlic variety that is unfortunately being cultivated less and less. It has the typical Italian characteristics of a full-bodied aroma through to easy processing and care.


  • Growth height: between 40 and 60 centimeters
  • Outside big toes stored, inside smaller toes grown in the middle
  • Bulb smaller than in conventional varieties
  • Taste: very aromatic, initially slightly sharp in the background
  • Special features: easy to care for, can be stored well, becomes hotter with age, does not have an intense odour

German porcelain

This is a very old German garlic variety with the original bulb shape. Real garlic lovers will find in this a "fiery" taste that no other variety has to offer. Unfortunately, "German porcelain" is hardly ever cultivated.


  • Growth height: between 60 and 70 centimeters
  • Only four toes, but larger than average toes
  • Color white
  • Taste: hot and with time a light pepper aroma with a long finish
  • Special features: very odor-intensive

Autumn Garlic Thermidrome (Allium sativum thermidrome)

The Thermidrome is the most robust of the garlic varieties and is characterized by a well-rounded aroma. It is not very demanding when it comes to care, but the few care factors should be taken into account so that it can develop into a pompous plant.


  • Growth height: up to 180 centimeters
  • Early autumn garlic
  • Onion bulb consists of a main clove and three to five side cloves
  • Onion skin: brownish
  • Toes: purple-red
  • Taste: mildly spicy
  • Special features: very robust variety, cold-tolerant, excellent storability, high yield

From P - V

Polish Softneck (Allium sativum subsp. sativum "Polish")

The Polish Softneck Garlic is a US product and is one of the oldest varieties of garlic there. It was first introduced around 1900. It is also one of the hardiest varieties, which do not mind temperatures below minus 20 degrees Celsius.


  • Growth height: up to 40 centimeters
  • Elongated, slender toes
  • Tubers grow taller than local classics
  • white blossom
  • Also very decorative in perennial beds
  • Taste: slightly peppery aroma after longer storage, otherwise intense garlic aroma
  • Special features: particularly boil-proof, fast-growing

Snake Garlic (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon)

The snake garlic is also known under the name Rocambole as well as Italian garlic. This old variety offers an ideal alternative to common garlic if the taste is too strong, but you don't want to do without a typical garlic aroma.

Appearance and features:

  • Growth height: between 30 and 90 centimeters
  • Leaves curved like snakes
  • Reminds more of garden leeks than a garlic plant
  • Remarkably small toes (between five and 20 pieces)
  • Bulb color: white
  • Toe shell mostly brownish
  • Softer consistency than garden garlic
  • Taste: very mild, therefore also ideal as a raw food
  • Special features: no typical smell of garlic after consumption


The Vivalto garlic variety originally comes from the Italian Mediterranean region, but has already made a name for itself in Germany decades ago. Its mild aroma makes it perfect for the delicate refinement of seafood and pasta. It is one of the particularly small garlic plants.


  • Growth height: about 20 centimeters
  • Long, strong leaf dress
  • Onion bulb similar in shape to common garlic
  • Eight to ten toes
  • White onion skin
  • Pink colored outer shell of the toes
  • Taste: very tasty, mild and aromatic
  • Special features: very productive - leaves are suitable for drying and for decoration
  • is easy to grow

New varieties of garlic

From C - F

Chesnok (Allium sativum 'Chesnok')

The Isle of Wight, a offshore island in southern England, is home to the Chesnok garlic variety. In Germany, however, it has not been known for long. It is excellent for eating raw and should not be heated for too long as it quickly becomes bitter.


  • Growth height: up to 80 centimeters
  • Medium-sized bulbs with five to ten subsidiary cloves
  • Toe color: white-purple striped
  • Taste: full-bodied, strong aroma
  • Special features: very robust, cold-tolerant


Cledor garlic is native to southern France. It is a well-established garlic plant there, which has recently become more and more popular in Germany because it is traded as a top variety in France.


  • Growth height: 40 to 50 centimeters
  • Annual
  • Colour: classic white
  • Small tubers
  • About eight to ten toes
  • Flavor: intense garlic aroma
  • Special features: can be stored well - leaves are edible

Fat Leaf (Allium intsp. hybrid)

Fat leaf garlic is a variety of chives (Allium tuberosum). However, it does not belong to the true garlic plants. It is listed here anyway, because it has the typical garlic taste. As a hybrid, it is a relatively recent crossing of different strains. What is striking is its relatively wide growth of up to 30 centimeters. As with its conspecifics, the leaves are edible just like normal chives.


  • Growth height: between 20 and 70 centimeters
  • Upright growing
  • hardy
  • Small tubers and cloves
  • Flavor: Aromatic, strong flavor with moderately intense garlic flavor
  • Special features: the typical smell of garlic dissipates quickly - the leaves are processed like chives

From H - S

Head Garlic

Although the Head Garlic is not a new breed, it is marketed as a new variety in Germany. This garlic variety comes from Thailand and is one of the classics there, which is why it is also often referred to as Thai garlic, which, however, is a separate variety and therefore the varieties are often confused with one another.

  • Growth height: up to 80 centimeters
  • Upright growing leaves
  • Onion bulb has no cloves, but consists of a single fruit
  • Small bulb
  • Onion color: brownish-white
  • Fruit color: brown-beige
  • Taste: highly aromatic, pleasantly mild and easily digestible
  • Specialties: considered a delicacy in Thailand, is also eaten raw

Korean farmer (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon "Korean farmer")

This type of garlic owes its name "Koreanischer Bauer" to a German who bought it from a farmer at a market stall in Korea. It was offered there as conventional Korean garlic. It impresses with an extraordinary sharpness, as it is mainly known from India. It is grown and sold in Germany, but not for long, so it can still be counted among the new varieties.

  • Growth height: about 40 centimeters
  • Upright growth
  • White-purple flowers
  • hardy
  • Flavor: intensely hot and spicy
  • Ideal for Asian/Indian cuisine
  • Special features: strong smell, robust plant


The Silverskin varieties can be recognized by the slightly silvery shimmering tuber skin. The advantage of growing this variety is its good adaptability to different climatic conditions. Silverskins were imported from the USA and are popular today in Germany with those who want to taste garlic intensely but not too hot.

  • Growth height: up to about 70 centimeters
  • Upright growth, ideal for braiding
  • Between ten and twenty toes
  • Bigger toes grow on the outside, small toes on the inside
  • Taste: intense aroma without much sharpness
  • Special features: very productive, very adaptable to weather and temperatures

Mild garlic varieties

Eden Rose (Allium sativum 'Eden Rose')

This garlic variety is immediately noticeable because of its pink color. It comes from France, where it emerges as the classic. The leaves and blossoms are considered a delicacy there and are used raw or steamed.

  • Growth height: 40 to 50 centimeters
  • annual plant
  • Reddish-brown toe shell
  • White flesh
  • Taste: mild, spicy, slightly sweet
  • Special features: very good storability, high yield

Monstrosum (Allium tuberosum 'Monstrosum')

This variety is called giant garlic because it grows much stronger and larger than its smaller "siblings". The monstrosum is best known from exotic cuisine.

  • Growth height: up to 80 centimeters
  • Vigorous growth
  • White flowers from July to September
  • Ideal for Asian dishes
  • Taste: mild and fresh
  • Special features: very tasty flowers, no unpleasant smell of garlic after consumption

Goblin (Allium tuberosum 'Goblin')

The "Kobold" is one of the smallest varieties of garlic, although it belongs to the leek genus and has no bulb/tuber. Nevertheless, it is sold as garlic because its stalk-like leaves give off a garlic taste and smell, which is usually emanated from a garlic bulb.

  • Height of growth: up to 40, rarely up to 60 centimetres
  • Compact growth
  • White flowers from August to October
  • Also very decorative in perennial beds
  • Taste: mild and fresh
  • Special features: very pleasantly fragrant, no unpleasant smell of garlic after consumption

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