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

James M. Stephens 2

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.
Figure 1.  Elephant garlic.
Credit: James M. Stephens



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.


1. 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
2. James M. Stephens, professor emeritus, Horticultural Sciences Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

Publication #HS598

Release Date:October 29, 2018

Related Experts

Stephens, James M.


University of Florida

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Part of Minor Vegetable Handbook

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Fact Sheet
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