This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.


Toxic parts

There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this species. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[1].

Edible uses


Bulb - raw or cooked. Widely used, especially in southern Europe, as a flavouring in a wide range of foods, both raw and cooked[2]. Garlic is a wonderfully nutritious and health giving addition to the diet, but it has a very strong flavour and so is mainly used in very small quantities as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods[3][4][5][6][7]. A nutritional analysis is available[8]. The bulbs can be up to 6cm in diameter[9].

Bulbils - raw or cooked[K]. An excellent strong garlic flavour, though they are rather small and therefore fiddly to peel[K]. Leaves - raw or cooked. Chopped and used in salads, they are rather milder than the bulbs[200, K]. The Chinese often cultivate garlic especially for the leaves, these can be produced in the middle of winter in mild winters[10]. The flowering stems are used as a flavouring and are sometimes sold in Chinese shops[11].

The sprouted seed is added to salads[11].



Material uses

The juice from the bulb is used as an insect repellent[12][5]. It has a very strong smell and some people would prefer to be bitten[K]. The juice can also be applied to any stings in order to ease the pain[12][5]. 3 - 4 tablespoons of chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of grated soap can be infused in 1 litre of boiling water, allowed to cool and then used as an insecticide[13].

An excellent glue can be made from the juice[12], when this is spread on glass it enables a person to cut clean holes in the glass[12], The juice is also used as a glue in mending glass and china[14]. An extract of the plant can be used as a fungicide[15]. It is used in the treatment of blight and mould or fungal diseases of tomatoes and potatoes[13]. If a few cloves of garlic are spread amongst stored fruit, they will act to delay the fruit from rotting[12].

The growing plant is said to repel insects, rabbits and moles[5][16].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasiticidal properties have proved of benefit[8]. The plant produces inhibitory effects on gram-negative germs of the typhoid-paratyphoid-enteritis group, indeed it possesses outstanding germicidal properties[17] and can keep amoebic dysentery at bay[2]. It is also said to have anticancer activity[8]. It has also been shown that garlic aids detoxification of chronic lead poisoning[2]. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. For example, demographic studies suggest that garlic is responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in areas of Italy and Spain where consumption of the bulb is heavy[18]. Recent research has also indicated that garlic reduces glucose metabolism in diabetics, slows the development of arteriosclerosis and lowers the risk of further heart attacks in myocardial infarct patients[19][20]. Externally, the expressed juice is an excellent antiseptic for treating wounds[2].

The fresh bulb is much more effective medicinally than stored bulbs, extended storage greatly reduces the anti-bacterial action[2].

The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stings, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator[21][4][5][22][14][23].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Plant out the cloves in late autumn for an early summer crop[7][9]. They can also be planted in late winter to early spring though yields may not be so good. Plant the cloves with their noses just below the soil surface[9]. If the bulbs are left in the ground all year, they will often produce tender young leaves in the winter[K]. Bulbils, harvested in late summer, are best sown immediately in pots in a cold greenhouse, planting out in late spring after the last expected frosts[K]. They can also be stored in a cool place over the winter and then be planted outdoors like onion sets. They will not make such a big plant in their first year, however[K].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Allium sativum ophioscorodon. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in most soils but prefers a sunny position in a moist light well-drained soil[24][5][25][26]. Dislikes very acid soils[10]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. The bulb is liable to rot if grown in a wet soil[6][27].

Hardy to at least -10°c[10]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[24]. Garlic is widely cultivated in most parts of the world for its edible bulb, which is used mainly as a flavouring in foods. This sub-species differs mainly in forming more bulbils on the flowering head, and this flowering head usually coils into 1- 2 loops before opening[9]. Since it produces these bulbils (which make an excellent garlic, though they are rather on the small side) as well as underground cloves, it can be more productive[K]. We often grow this plant for a number of years before digging it up - it forms larger and larger clumps each year, with an abundance of bulbils[K]. There are a number of named varieties[11]. Bulb formation occurs in response to increasing daylength and temperature[9]. It is also influenced by the temperature at which the cloves were stored prior to planting. Cool storage at temperatures between 0 and 10°c will hasten subsequent bulb formation, storage at above 25°c will delay or prevent bulb formation[9][10]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[15][16][28]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[13].

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[29].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Allium sativum ophioscorodon. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Allium sativum ophioscorodon.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Allium sativum ophioscorodon
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    5. ? Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    6. ? Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    7. ? Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table. Faber (1960-00-00)
    8. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    9. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
    11. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    13. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
    14. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    15. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    16. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.1 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    24. ? 24.024.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    25. ? Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (1977-00-00)
    26. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
    27. ? Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    28. ? Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
    29. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)