Allium sativum var. sativum

Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 238. Mentioned on page 226.

Bulbs comprising 5–15+ bulbels (cloves), depressed-ovoid, 3–6 × (1.5–)3–8 cm; outer coats enclosing bulbs, white to light brown, membranous, without reticulation; inner coats white, not appearing cellular. Leaves withering from tip by anthesis, 6–12, sheathing ± 1/2 scape; blade solid, flat, carinate, 20–100 cm × 5–20 mm, margins and keel scabrous, apex acute. Scape persistent, solitary, erect, terete, 25–100+ cm × 4–10 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact, 0–20-flowered, globose, with bulbils, flowers usually aborted in bud; spathe bract caducous, 1, 3-veined, ovate, apex beaked, beak much longer than base. Flowers, when present, ± campanulate, 3–5 mm; tepals erect, greenish white to pink, outer lanceolate, inner ovate-lanceolate, ± equal, withering without developing, margins entire, apex acute; ovary crestless; pedicel 10–20 mm. Seed coat not known; fruits usually abortive or without seeds.

Phenology: Flowering Jun–Jul.
Habitat: Roadsides and disturbed areas


Introduced; widely cultivated.


Allium sativum var. sativum is quite variable. It is possibly derived from A. longicuspis from central Asia. It generally reproduces by bulbels (cloves) as it produces few, if any, seeds. Prior to anthesis the scape of A. sativum var. ophioscorodon (Link) Doll is coiled into 1–2 wide loops. Both varieties are cultivated in North America and are usually found along roadsides and disturbed areas wherever garlic is cultivated. The bulbils make accidental introduction very easy.

Selected References


Lower Taxa