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Here we offer a sample from The Garlic Press issue: #45 - page 7.

Genetically Similar Garlic Varieties

by Gayle Volk - USDA-ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Ft. Collins, Colorado

Our genetic analyses have revealed that there are a number of garlic varieties that are very similar (see Issue 44, Garlic Press). In some cases, we have been able to determine some classes of garlic varieties, based on descriptive information. Currently, the best reference we have for these classes of garlic is the booklet "Growing Great Garlic (suppl.)" by Ron Engeland. The observations in this supplement were made in Okanogan, Washington. This poses a problem when other growers plant the same varieties in their fields across the United States. Garlic tends to change its growth and bulbing characteristics depending on weather, location, and field conditions. Our garlic project entitled "Increased Profits for Sustainable Produced Garlic" should determine more uniform class descriptors for garlic types (see article by David Stern, this issue).

The lists below provide some sets of garlic accessions that are very similar genetically (statistically identical). Below, some general information on garlic types is described, based on details obtained from Engeland's books. Our tests did not sample all of the garlic genome, and so there may be differences in key genes that cause considerable differences in varieties that we could not detect using our methods. Our analyses also revealed numerous unique garlic varieties (not listed).

Identical artichokes: California Early Oregon Blue Chet=s Italian Red Lorz Italian Mchadidzhauri Randl Colorado White Red Italian Susanville

Identical rocamboles: Colorado Black Dominics French Rocambole German Brown German Red GSF65 Kilarney Red Russian Red Spanish Roja Western Rojo Yugo Red

Identical porcelains: Georgia Crystal Georgia Fire German Hardy German Porcelain German White Leah 99 Music Northern White Polish Hardneck Romanian Red

Identical purple stripes: Metichi Persian Star Samarkand Identical marble purple strips: Bogatyr Brown Tempest Marino Siberian

View chart (20KB PDF file - general information on garlic types).

References: Engeland RL (1991) Growing great garlic. Filaree Productions, Okanogan, WA. Engeland RL (1995) Growing great garlic (suppl). Filaree Productions, Okanogan, WA. Volk GM, Henk AD, Richards CM (2004) Genetic diversity among U.S. garlic clones as detected using AFLP methods. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 129(4):559-569.


The Garlic Press is the newsletter of the Garlic Seed Foundation and has been published since 1987.

Subscription to The Garlic Press is included with membership in the Garlic Seed Foundation.

In each issue we try and cover topics on growing, eating, botany, medicine, and history laced with some culture and humor. We welcome member submissions.

Back issues are bound and available by mail or at festivals.


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