UNCLASSIFIED garlics are unusual cultivated varieties whose morphology as plants and bulbs do not accord with any of the horticultural groups. At this point they have been subject neither to molecular nor genetic analysis. These outliers are of particular interest as they are indicative of greater diversity in A. sativum. Some are curiosities which have desirable traits that may yield better in other latitudes and climates; others are productive varieties that express characteristics setting them apart from others. Unclassified garlics are $8 per ¼ lb; $14 per ½ lb; $22 per lb.
Belarus (PI 540355) Early to emerge, Belarus grows tall with semi-vertical leaf architecture. It matures early and it has a wide root base and ribbed roots which can make harvest a challenge in wet soil. One wonders what rugged conditions it had to adapt to that resulted in this mutation. Until recently, Belarus had been the sole outright European dictatorship; now it’s joined by other aspiring autocrats. This unusual garlic likely arrived long before the country’s boundaries were defined. Here in SW Oregon it is prone to brooming. White bulbs have 7-9 purple blushed cloves and it has a very rich rounded flavor. 1/2 lb. limit
Cusco: acquired at an open market in the high Andian city of Cusco, Peru, elevation 11,150 feet. Spanish Conquistadors were responsible for countless atrocities during the years of colonization, slaughtering and exploiting indigenous peoples, while taking back to Europe everything from silver to the potato. One of the few things they introduced to the Americas other than smallpox and other infectious diseases, was garlic. It is quite likely that’s how this odd gem made it to the Peruvian highlands. It has small-medium bulbs with 6-7 squat cloves, it has a sweet flavor with a brief but sharp bite. Very early to mature and exceptional storage, it’s taken a few years for this to adapt here but it’s been improving in vigor and size every season. ½ lb. limit
Jade Rose: Another very early maturing variety was procured in SW China. The plants look similar to Turbans: low growing with floppy leaves, though the umbels differ. It has 5-6 cloves with light purple coloration. It stores remarkably well for such an early garlic and has a sweet flavor with a flash of bright heat. “Dà suàn” is Mandarin for garlic. ½ lb. limit
Lampang (W6 35699) From a roadside stand between Lampang and Lamphon, south of Chaing Mai, Thailand. Garlic production in Thailand is centered in the north of the country. This variety took 5 years to adapt but well worth it. It would still be better suited to a warmer winter at a more southern latitude but it’s now producing sizable bulbs. Like those above it also matures very early along with the Turbans, is medium sized with 6-8 squat cloves with purple mottling. Lampang has a sharp hot bite which lingers. For how early it is harvested, it stores exceptionally well. 1lb. limit
Nepal (W6 2308) this very unusual garlic has 8-16 elongated cloves in two layers (the outer of which has plump cloves) on small to medium white bulbs with light purple streaking. It has broad, fibrous vertical leaves and produces multiple sets of bulbils on the stems. It’s sweet flavor builds to a fiery and lingering crescendo. “Lasun” is the Nepali word for garlic. There is no data on where in Nepal this variety is from, though it’s likely cultivated in the lowlands. It is likely this would yield better in warmer climates. Please check for availability
Palestinian (W6 27692) small bulbs with 3-5 elongated cloves and multiple sets of bulbils. The plants are early to emerge and have dark, glossy, almost waxy vertical leaves. It has a quick bite that subsides leaving a rich, oily garlic aftertaste. From Khaled Hardan, in whose family it has been cultivated for over a century. Thousands of acres of Palestinian lands have been swallowed by Israeli settlement expansion and wall construction, as well as access to water cut off. Many rare (heirloom) plant varieties have been endangered or destroyed, as have those who’ve tended them. Please check for availability.
Single: this strange little cultivar from Chengu, China often gets lumped in with Asiatic strains but it spathe and umbels differ. The plants are short with thin leaves. In this location, many of the bulbs produce rounds rather than bulbs divided into cloves. The plants are early to mature and the flavor is bright and piquant. ¼ lb. limit
Syrian (W6 10472) has thin upright leaves that form a tight V and has a weak bolting tendency. Small bulbs with 15-20 tiny cloves around a central stem may make this a curiosity for the garlic enthusiast; however, grown at more southern latitudes it can size up well. When winter has been mild, the bulbs size up here too; however, clove size remains small. This variety is representative of a distinct group of Middle Eastern garlics and was acquired at an open market in Aleppo in 1992. ¼ lb. limit
Tai Cang grows tall, slender plants with very thin, vertical leaves. Bulbs are white with light purple streaking and 6-8 cloves. Introduced through Seed Savers’ Exchange from the Chinese National Seed Corporation, one might speculate that it came from the SE Chinese prefecture of Taicang. It has a crisp texture, quick spicy bite and fries up well. ½ lb limit
Ver Veist: This is an oddball variety that came from the Seed Savers Exchange collection but was erroneously labeled with a GRIN accession number that did not match it’s counterpart, a Turkish Silverskin. Where it came from is a guessing game. “Ver veist” means “who knows?” in Yiddish. This garlic has 8-10 elongated cloves on medium heads. It has good flavor and matures early, just after the Turbans. ½ lb. limit