Allium sativum Amaryllidaceae

Growth habit



Long-lived polycarpic perennial

Native distribution

Not Known in the Wild

Biocultural value

Savored as a food and seasoning since antiquity, the bulbs were also used medicinally by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Aromatic bulbs flavor cuisines throughout the world.


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant

Cornell Botanic Gardens, Agway , Glenn Bucien


Stems 25-100 cm tall; bulbs 3-6 cm in diameter, ovoid, containing 5-18 bulblets, often termed cloves, tunic papery. Leaves 60cm long, 3cm wide, 6-12 per bulb, linear, flat above, keeled below, sheathing the lower part of the stem. Flowers cup-shaped, few, the buds often abortive; umbels 2.5-5cm in diamater, containing many bulbils; tepals usually white to pink, tinged with green, occasionally purple, stamens included.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

food, medicinal/pharmaceutical