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Wild Garlic

Hardneck 4-6 cloves per bulb is typical, while Kishlyk stands out at 6-8 per bulb, or Pskem River on the other end at 3-4 cloves per bulb. Interestingly, you'll see many of these types lumped in the "Purple Stripe" category elsewhere, which is perplexing. The cured bulbs have more superficial resemblance to Porcelains, as a rule of thumb, just from low numbers of cloves per bulb and from "high shouldered" shapes of some of them, in contrast to the Purple Stripe family having 8-12 cloves per bulb, lots of "twinning" cloves, on wider, shorter bulbs.

The allium genus has many wild species out there with names like bear garlic, wild garlic, ramps and other folk names. However, in this case, I am talking about wild subvarieties of common garlic (allium sativum). These varieties have been collected abroad, usually in Central Asia, and introduced to North American universities where they then spread commercially. They all tend to be very winter-hardy, are all hardneck, and offer exciting possibilities for true seed production as many of them are closer to their fertile origins. Kishlyk is especially suited to this, as the parent and grandparent of many of Avram Drucker's true seed progeny (see more about this on his site, Garlicana.com, and/or browse the ones I have and grow here.

Pskem River is a comparatively common variety in the Northeast, but unbeknownst to some, was first a wild-collected strain. I hope that gardeners and farmers alike will try more of these, we don't know where the next great productive variety will come from!

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