Garlic, Elephant
Allium ampeloprasum 

Elephant Garlic cloves were brought to Texas by German farmers before the Civil War. Efforts were made then to use it as a cash crop but with little success. The plant was used, along with other garlic species such as California Grayneck and Red Marker, as rodent deterrents in home gardens. Elephant Garlic was first listed as a Pass-along Plant in the 1930s and became a component in the listing of plants necessary for a War Garden in the 1940s. It was not until the mid- 1960s that garlic became an edible agricultural crop in Texas.

This Texas variant of garlic is heat-tolerant and cold-hardy and should be planted with the upper tip just below the soil line. Once the bulb seed has started to produce green top-growth, the plant can deter rabbits, deer, and squirrels. When in bloom, the plant is highly attractive to bees and butterflies. If left for multiple seasons they will create bulbs and spread in the immediate area of original planting. An ideal companion for the base of fruit trees. With a vigorous and fast-growing root system, this crop will add organic matter to your forest garden in a hurry!

Harvested, the bulb can be roasted or used as any other garlic. Cloves can get as large as fists; garlic-peeling becomes much more rewarding when this culinary wonder is in the kitchen. They can also be eaten young as a large leeks. Highly nutritious.
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