Garlic plant

The garlic plant: the characteristics

An ancient plant, garlic is believed to have been known over three thousand years ago. Already the Greeks and Romans used it as a flavoring for the food they consumed. In fact, the pungent smell of garlic is due to an essential oil, rich in sulphides, which was decisive for welcoming the garlic plant into the category of medicinal plants. Its properties are: antidiabetic, antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, hypotensive, callifuga. Fresh garlic juice has a very complete antiseptic action and effectively fights many pathogenic germs. Doctors of the Middle Ages prepared a mask soaked in garlic juice to protect themselves from the possible contagion of infectious diseases. The long, green-leaved garlic plant blooms in spring or summer depending on when it was planted.

The garlic plant: sowing and transplanting

In botany, garlic belongs to the Liliaceae family. It is said to come from Asia although its name: “allium” derives from the Celtic word “all”. Term that indicates: “pungent”. And, in fact, the typical smell and taste of the garlic plant bulbs can be defined as such. Growing a garlic plant in pots or in the ground is not complicated. The garlic plant requires sunny, fertile, loose, well-drained soils because water stagnation is decidedly harmful. The garlic plant reproduces through the cloves. To cultivate it, it is necessary to plant the “bubilli” with the apex facing upwards, spacing them about twenty centimeters from each other and in rows at a distance of forty centimeters between row and row. The bubilli are planted from November to March depending on the climate. The garlic plant blooms with a distinctive umbrella flower during the summer. It is rare that the plant can be grown through seeds.

The garlic plant: adaptability and fertilization

The garlic plant stands out from other vegetable plants for its adaptability and excellent yield. Both on the terrace and in the garden, the plant must be exposed to full sunlight. in partial shade it saddens. It is a resistant plant that does not require special attention. Its bulb could rot only due to water stagnation. Possible aphid attacks should be checked in spring. Where the winters are not particularly harsh, the bulbs of the garlic plant can remain on the ground even for years, until they spontaneously grow. Elsewhere, however, it is necessary to uproot the tufts in late autumn, place the bulbs in a dry and cool place, just like all bulbous plants, and put the bulbs back into the ground at the end of winter. It is interesting to note that in contrast to the

Garlic plant: Three hundred species of garlic plants

In addition to the well-known plant that produces the aromatic bulbs used in cooking, garlic is a genus that brings together many species, about three hundred. Species that include various garlic plants that are not only edible but also ornamental. Plants that despite their beauty are not very cultivated and it is a pity because they represent a good resource also as a cut flower. The first feature that distinguishes one garlic plant from another is its leaves. Leaves that can be broad and flat, or curved outward, or flattened and grooved. Almost all species of garlic plants boast hybrids and varieties of great beauty. In Italy the best known species of garlic are: allium neapolitanum and allium siculum. The former has beautiful white flowers, blooms in early June, and is about forty centimeters high. The second, the allium siculum, reaches one meter in height and in May produces beautiful blue-green inflorescences; the petals are tinged with red on the outside. Given the remarkable range of specimens, the garlic plant is widely used both in the garden and on the balcony. Garlic finds extensive use in Mediterranean cuisine.

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