Different Types of Garlic

There are around 400-600 known varieties of cultivated garlic throughout the world today, and this number continues to grow.

The garlic family tree is hierarchical with two top levels types of garlic Hardneck garlic (Ophioscorodon) and Softneck garlic (Sativum). Each of these top levels has sub-levels and sub-sub-levels.

Allium sativum, also called culinary garlic, is the most common garlic that you can find in stores and offers the most healing properties. In some specialty stores or farmer’s markets, you might find another type Allium ursinum, a type of wild garlic that came from Northern Europe and does not have strong healing properties. A third type of garlic, Allium vineale, is also common. This type of garlic has small cloves, and is often called “crow” garlic.


Since there are so many types of garlic, it can be hard to choose one. We will discuss a few types of garlic and varieties of those types.

Softneck Garlic – Sativum

Softnecks are easy to grow and they adapt to a wide range of climate conditions, especially in warmer climates. The bulbs can be rather large with multiple layers of cloves which produce mild to medium heat. They travel well and have a superior shelf life; when stored properly, they can last up to for up to 9-10 months. Softnecks are used for braiding.

Here are some varieties of softneck garlic:

Silverskin garlic:. This easy to grow variety has a strong flavor and stores well when dried. In fact, Silverskins are among the best garlic for storing and will last about a year if stored under the right conditions. Silverskin garlic is a popular soft neck garlic and is often displayed in braids.

Artichoke garlic: This variety of garlic is most commonly found in stores because it is the easiest garlic to grow. It has a relatively mild flavor and typically has fewer and larger cloves than Silverskin garlic. It can be stored up to eight months. Artichoke garlic may have some purple streaks or spots on the skin.

Elephant Garlic: This variety of garlic, named for its large size, has recently gained popularity. While the size of this garlic may make it seem like a good buy, the flavor is very bland. This is a good option for diner who are somewhat hesitant of stronger garlic.

Hardneck Garlic – Ophioscorodon

This garlic has fewer even-sized cloves, which surround a sometimes thick and stiff ‘neck’. Depending on the variety, the number of cloves varies from four to twelve. They are generally less reliable in changeable weather conditions than soft necked garlic, with the exception of the rocombole variety.

Hardneck garlic needs to be planted by hand with the right side up and their scapes have to be snipped off, so it takes a great deal of effort to grow this type of garlic. However, the payoff is a wealth of large bulbs with a delicious and intriguing flavor.

There are three main types of hard neck garlic.

Rocambole: This variety has a rich, full-bodied taste. It peels easily and usually has just one layer of cloves around the stalk. It can be stored for up to six months.

Porcelain: This variety contains aboutt four to five large cloves with white, smooth, parchment-like outer skin. Its flavor is similar to Rocambole and it can easily be mistaken for elephant garlic because of its large cloves. Porcelain garlic keeps for about eight months. Out of the hard neck varieties, the porcelain garlic is probably the most attractive.

Purple stripe: This variety, which got its name from the blotches and purple streaks on the bulb, makes best roasted garlic. Purple strip garlic can keep for about six months. There is a wide range of flavor in some varieties of Purple Strip garlic – from mild to hot and flavorful.


More types of garlic:


  • Yugoslavian garlic
  • Wild Buff garlic
  • Northern Quebec garlic
  • German Stiffneck garlic
  • Dan´s Russian garlic
  • Leningrad garlic
  • Music garlic
  • Magnificent garlic
  • Italian garlic
  • Ukrainian garlic
  • Magical garlic
  • Fish Lake Three garlic
  • Georgian Crystal garlic
  • Georgian Fire garlic
  • Susan Delafield garlic
  • Rosewood garlic
  • German White garlic
  • Romanian Red
  • Zemo

Purple Stripes

  • Siberian garlic
  • Czech Broadleaf garlic
  • Red Rezan garlic
  • Persian Star garlic
  • Metechi garlic
  • Bogatyr garlic
  • Brown Tempest garlic
  • Bogatyr garlic
  • Chesnok Red garlic
  • Vekek garlic
  • Purple Glaze garlic
  • Armenian garlic
  • Russian Red garlic


  • Spanish Roja garlic
  • Purple Max garlic
  • German Red garlic
  • Colorado Black garlic
  • Mountain Top garlic
  • Carpathian garlic
  • Korean Purple garlic
  • Killarney Red garlic
  • Bavarian Purple garlic
  • Baba Franchuk´s garlic

Asiatic Garlics

  • Asian Rose garlic
  • Asian Tempest garlic
  • Chinese Purple garlic
  • Japanese garlic
  • Korean Red garlic
  • Pyong Vang garlic
  • Thai garlic
  • Chinese Stripe
  • Russian Redstreak garlic
  • Gregory´s China garlic

Other garlic types

  • Inchelium Red garlic
  • Wildfire garlic
  • Sweet Haven garlic
  • Sicilian Gold garlic
  • California Early garlic
  • California Late garlic
  • Transylvanian garlic
  • Red Janice
  • Blossom
  • Xian
  • Tzan