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Allium sativum ophioscorodon - (Link.)Döll.

Common Name Serpent Garlic
Family Alliaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this species. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible[76].
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range C. Asia? Original habitat is obscure.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Allium sativum ophioscorodon Serpent Garlic


(c) 2010 Ken Fern, Plants For A Future
Allium sativum ophioscorodon Serpent Garlic
(c) 2010 Ken Fern, Plants For A Future

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Allium sativum ophioscorodon is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root  Seed
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked. Widely used, especially in southern Europe, as a flavouring in a wide range of foods, both raw and cooked[244]. Garlic is a wonderfully nutritious and health giving addition to the diet, but it has a very strong flavour and so is mainly used in very small quantities as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods[2, 9, 14, 27, 33]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. The bulbs can be up to 6cm in diameter[200]. Bulbils - raw or cooked[K]. An excellent strong garlic flavour, though they are rather small and therefore fiddly to peel[K]. Leaves - raw or cooked. Chopped and used in salads, they are rather milder than the bulbs[200, K]. The Chinese often cultivate garlic especially for the leaves, these can be produced in the middle of winter in mild winters[206]. The flowering stems are used as a flavouring and are sometimes sold in Chinese shops[183]. The sprouted seed is added to salads[183].

Medicinal Uses

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Anthelmintic  Antiasthmatic  Anticholesterolemic  Antiseptic  Antispasmodic  Cancer  Cholagogue  Diaphoretic  
Diuretic  Expectorant  Febrifuge  Stimulant  Stings  Stomachic  Tonic  
Vasodilator

Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasiticidal properties have proved of benefit[218]. The plant produces inhibitory effects on gram-negative germs of the typhoid-paratyphoid-enteritis group, indeed it possesses outstanding germicidal properties[240] and can keep amoebic dysentery at bay[244]. It is also said to have anticancer activity[218]. It has also been shown that garlic aids detoxification of chronic lead poisoning[244]. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. For example, demographic studies suggest that garlic is responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in areas of Italy and Spain where consumption of the bulb is heavy[222]. Recent research has also indicated that garlic reduces glucose metabolism in diabetics, slows the development of arteriosclerosis and lowers the risk of further heart attacks in myocardial infarct patients[238, 254]. Externally, the expressed juice is an excellent antiseptic for treating wounds[244]. The fresh bulb is much more effective medicinally than stored bulbs, extended storage greatly reduces the anti-bacterial action[244]. The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stings, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator[4, 9, 14, 21, 46, 165].

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Other Uses

Adhesive  Fungicide  Repellent

The juice from the bulb is used as an insect repellent[7, 14]. It has a very strong smell and some people would prefer to be bitten[K]. The juice can also be applied to any stings in order to ease the pain[7, 14]. 3 - 4 tablespoons of chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of grated soap can be infused in 1 litre of boiling water, allowed to cool and then used as an insecticide[201]. An excellent glue can be made from the juice[7], when this is spread on glass it enables a person to cut clean holes in the glass[7], The juice is also used as a glue in mending glass and china[46]. An extract of the plant can be used as a fungicide[18]. It is used in the treatment of blight and mould or fungal diseases of tomatoes and potatoes[201]. If a few cloves of garlic are spread amongst stored fruit, they will act to delay the fruit from rotting[7]. The growing plant is said to repel insects, rabbits and moles[14, 20].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils but prefers a sunny position in a moist light well-drained soil[1, 14, 16, 37]. Dislikes very acid soils[206]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. The bulb is liable to rot if grown in a wet soil[27, 52]. Hardy to at least -10°c[206]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply[1]. Garlic is widely cultivated in most parts of the world for its edible bulb, which is used mainly as a flavouring in foods. This sub-species differs mainly in forming more bulbils on the flowering head, and this flowering head usually coils into 1- 2 loops before opening[200]. Since it produces these bulbils (which make an excellent garlic, though they are rather on the small side) as well as underground cloves, it can be more productive[K]. We often grow this plant for a number of years before digging it up - it forms larger and larger clumps each year, with an abundance of bulbils[K]. There are a number of named varieties[183]. Bulb formation occurs in response to increasing daylength and temperature[200]. It is also influenced by the temperature at which the cloves were stored prior to planting. Cool storage at temperatures between 0 and 10°c will hasten subsequent bulb formation, storage at above 25°c will delay or prevent bulb formation[200, 206]. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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Propagation

Plant out the cloves in late autumn for an early summer crop[33, 200]. They can also be planted in late winter to early spring though yields may not be so good. Plant the cloves with their noses just below the soil surface[200]. If the bulbs are left in the ground all year, they will often produce tender young leaves in the winter[K]. Bulbils, harvested in late summer, are best sown immediately in pots in a cold greenhouse, planting out in late spring after the last expected frosts[K]. They can also be stored in a cool place over the winter and then be planted outdoors like onion sets. They will not make such a big plant in their first year, however[K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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(Link.)Döll.

Botanical References

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Readers comment

Vaidya K.S.jayahsree   Tue Sep 18 2007

Allium sativum is named Lashuna in Sanskrit language , the language of Ayurveda. among the manifold pharmacological activities attributed to garlic few to add to the list given on this page. Garlic is a very effective galactogogue. To enhance the lactation/breast milk secretion garlic coves are boiled in milk and given to the lactating mother. garlic is also known for its fertility effect. In young children garlic and jaggery paste acts as an effective remedy for respoiratary illness like coungh and cold.

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