Beyond the culinary uses, the different parts of garlic plant hold many secrets. Garlic is a versatile ingredient used in cooking and medicine for centuries.
Each part of the plant has unique properties, from the pungent bulbs to the bright green garlic scapes. They all make the plant a valuable addition to any kitchen or garden.
This outline will explore the anatomy and benefits of the garlic plant. I will provide insights into how each part can be used and enjoyed.
What Is a Garlic Plant?
The Allium sativum, commonly called the garlic plant, is in the Alliaceae or onion family, the same as pepper and onions.
It is a perennial flowering plant. It is native to South Asia and Central Asia. This plant is utilized in various cuisines. People prefer it for the aromatic and strong-flavored bulb.
What Does Garlic Plant Look Like?
The true garlic plant features a distinctive look with its own unique qualities. It boasts long, flat, and pointed leaves that grow from the base of the plant.
These leaves are slim and have a bluish-green color and smooth sensation.
The plant’s inflorescence is a round bunch of small white flowers on a tall and upright flowering stem.
The central bud of the inflorescence produces small bulbils instead of flowers which can be utilized for growing new garlic plants.
The garlic’s edible bulb has many papery layers that easily come off to show individual cloves. Each clove is covered in a thin papery layer.
The bulb typically has a flat bottom and a shape that resembles a pear. It will be gradually narrow toward the root end.
The color of the garlic plant’s bulb and leaves depends on factors such as species and growing conditions.
In fact, there is no need to describe the garlic bulb a lot since we are quite familiar with them, right? Let’s learn where it grows now.
What Does Garlic Grow On?
Garlic is grown and propagated through the use of its bulb. It is the fundamental part of this plant used for cultivation.
Garlic bulbs come from garlic cloves; you can separate and sown them to generate new plants. Garlic thrives in moderate to cooler climates with ample sunlight.
It can grow in many soil types but prefers well-draining and loose soil. Unlike Rooting Peony cuttings in water, you can even plant garlic in it.
Garlic grows beneath the ground as a bulb, giving rise to elongated, sharp leaves. The initial green leaves grow upwards from the bulb.
As the plant develops, the garlic bulb produces a flowering stem. It will form a globular cluster of small white flowers later. The winter months develop garlic roots, leading to a fresh summer crop.
What Are Parts Of Garlic Plant?
There are different parts of garlic plant, with the bulb being the most well-known and widely used. The bulb of the garlic plant is made up of multiple cloves.
The immature garlic plant leaves grow from the bulb’s base and extend upward. As the plant matures, it develops a flowering stalk.
What Are Garlic Bulbs?
Why Are Garlic Bulbs Small?
Garlic bulbs, a part of the onion family, are the most commonly used portion of the garlic plant. It is where the plant stores its nutrients.
Bulbs contain several smaller sections called cloves. The outer layer of the garlic bulb is thin and papery.
The individual garlic cloves are covered in thin, white, or pink skin. The size of the garlic bulb varies depending on the varieties of garlic. How garlic plants are grown, and diseases also affect it.
Unlike other onion species, which are propagated by separating the bulb itself, garlic cloves are the fundamental unit for planting.
Additionally, factors such as soil fertility and water availability can also impact the size of garlic bulbs.
Raw garlic bulbs are often used to make an aroma in food. Many dishes are made from fresh garlic cloves or garlic powder.
In Australia and the United Kingdom, people can make garlic bread, garlic spears, and garlic toast, usually in a medium of butter.
In Arabic dips, they even have a combination of chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. Some use garlic with milk to reduce body odor.
Meanwhile, some ancient food, like Central Europeans, use garlic cloves to avoid demons.
Why Do Garlic Bulbs Split?
Garlic bulbs are composed of three main parts. There are papery layers, fleshy central portions, and cloves. The papery outer layers, also known as skins, act as protection against moisture and damage.
The fleshy central portion is known as the meat of the garlic bulb. It is the area where the individual cloves are attached.
The cloves of garlic are individually covered in a thin, white, or pink skin and are used for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Garlic bulbs may sometimes split or crack due to environmental stresses. It could be because of changes in temperature or moisture levels.
Bulbs that split may not store as well or be suitable for planting. Besides, it can be a sign of white rot, severely damaging crops over time.
How Many Cloves In A Garlic Bulb?
Depending on the type, a garlic bulb can have varying numbers of cloves. A hardneck garlic bulb features 4 to 12 cloves. A softneck garlic one possesses 14 to 20 cloves.
Regular white garlic typically contains 10-12 cloves per bulb. Meanwhile, elephant garlic, a larger variety with a milder flavor, features an average of four cloves per bulb.
Black garlic has five cloves, while wild garlic does not even have a clove.
Can You Plant A Garlic Bulb?
Yes, you can plant a garlic bulb. The individual cloves can be separated and planted in the ground. You should place the pointed heads of garlic facing up and the flat end down.
Each separate clove will grow into a new garlic plant.
What Part Of The Plant Is Garlic Root?
The garlic plant has a big underground root system with many thin, stringy roots that spread in all directions.
These roots hold the plant strongly in the ground and soak up water and nutrients for the plant to grow.
The roots are usually light-colored, going from white to yellow. They can go down 2 to 3 feet in the earth in some garlic types. The roots help new garlic plants grow, too.
New plant clones can grow from the bulbils produced by the plant’s primary bulbs. In general, garlic’s roots are very important for growing and making more plants.
What Parts Of A Garlic Plant Is Leaves?
The garlic plant’s slender leaves are green and blade-shaped. Dehydrated garlic could turn yellow. Sulfur compounds in garlic could also make it blue.
The leaves grow right from the bulb in a circle.
These leaves are usually 10-12 inches long and are necessary for photosynthesis to help the plant make its food.
The flower stalks of the plant are called garlic scapes or inflorescences and grow from the garlic bulb.
When the bulb matures, it sends up a tall stalk with small pink, white, or purple flowers that look like an umbrella. They are known as the garlic blossom.
Garlic leaves are a popular vegetable in Asia, including Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisine.
They can be used in different cooking methods, adding a distinctive aroma to many dishes. Garlic scapes, which are removed to give space for bulb growth, can also be eaten.
What Is A Stem Garlic?
A garlic plant stem is a long, thin stalk growing upwards from the bulb or clove. Its color is green, and it can grow to 2 to 3 feet in height. This stem is also known as garlic scape as it curves.
It has a round-shaped end that produces garlic bulbs. Remember that the garlic stem and scape are not the same but related. The stem of the garlic plant is the tall and slender stalk.
It will eventually form a flowering top known as the garlic scape. The stem is crucial as it transfers nutrients and water from the roots to other garlic plant parts.
What Is A Garlic Scape?
What Does A Garlic Scape Look Like?
A garlic scape, found in hard-neck garlic plants, is a delicate stem and flower bud. It develops from the garlic bulb. It typically appears amid late spring and has a contorted or swirling look.
It is often greenish-white and can be straight or slightly curved, with a round shape at the end. The round-like part of the garlic scape eventually produces tiny garlic bulbils.
Garlic scapes grow roughly 10 to 20 inches long and have a milder taste. They can be used for different dishes like different kinds of bread, pesto, salad dressing, stir-fry, and many more.
What Part Of The Garlic Scape Do You Eat?
In addition to the bulb, the garlic plant’s entire garlic scapes and flower buds can also be eaten. These food items provide a mild garlic flavor to dishes.
The bulb-like end of the garlic scape that eventually produces garlic bulbils or cloves is usually discarded before garlic consumption.
The edible garlic parts of the garlic scape are often chopped to add a less strong odor to salads, soups, dips, stir-fries, and many other dishes.
Garlic scapes are usually harvested in late spring to early summer.
Garlic is versatile, and many parts of garlic plant are widely used. They offer many health benefits and culinary uses.
Every part of the garlic plant has unique characteristics and uses, from its bulb to its leaves and stems. Garlic scapes are edible and provide a mild garlic flavor to dishes.