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Publication #HS598

Garlic, Elephant—Allium ampeloprasum L. (Ampeloprasum group)1

James M. Stephens2

Elephant or greatheaded garlic is closely related to leek (Porrum group). This form of garlic produces very large bulbs that may weigh a pound or more. These huge bulbs consist of enlarged cloves, usually six per bulb. The cloves are milder than those of regular garlic, so that some people eat them raw.

Figure 1. 

Elephant garlic.


James M. Stephens

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


The plant is quite large, but otherwise resembles the ordinary garlic. It flowers rapidly, forming a round composite flower head at the top of a long (12–18 inches) seed stalk called a scape. This scape is solid and becomes rather woody very quickly. Leaves are flat and thin.


Elephant garlic is a vigorous plant in Florida gardens, as well as most other areas of the country. Space cloves 12 inches apart at planting and grow the same as onions. Starts are available through seed company catalogs.



This document is HS598, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 1994. Revised September 2015. Reviewed October 2018. Visit the EDIS website at


James M. Stephens, professor emeritus, Horticultural Sciences Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.