Allium sativum

Allium sativum – Garlic.

Garlic, in Family Amaryllidaceae s.l. is the type species of the genus.
There are 2 subspecies (hard and soft-necked garlic) and hundreds of cultivars and varieties.

Perennial plants, up to 1 m high grow from bulbs.
Roots, leaves and inflorescences grow from the basal plate (the stem).
Tough, membranous white or mauvish scale leaves protect the bulb.

Each bulb consists of up to 20 or so small bulblets or cloves.
These are the swollen, fleshy bases of storage leaves.
Each clove has its own protective layer.

The up to 12 long, narrow, blue-green leaves are up to 60 cm long.
Sometimes the overlapping bases form an above ground pseudostem.

Leafless inflorescence stalks are 30 to 80 cm high.
The terminal umbel of flowers is initially protected by a pointed, spathe-like bract.
As the flowers grow it splits and becomes papery.

Flower heads are up to 30 cm across.
Commonly pale pink the flowers can also be greenish-white or reddish.
Flowers are often sterile and some or all can be replaced by small bulbils.