Elephant garlic Facts

Elephant garlic Facts
Elephant garlic is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the amaryllis family. Elephant garlic originates from Central Asia, but it can be found in areas with temperate climate and mild winters around the world today. It requires enough moisture, light, fertile soil and plenty of sun for the successful growth. People cultivate elephant garlic mostly as a source of food. It can be also cultivated in ornamental purposes in the gardens.
Interesting Elephant garlic Facts:
Elephant garlic develops erect stem that can reach 25 to 35 inches in height.
Elephant garlic produces large underground bulb that consists of usually 5 cloves. Bulb can be small like a golf ball, or it can reach 5 inches in diameter and one pound of weight. Bulb is covered with white, papery layer, while individual cloves have yellowish skin on the surface.
Elephant garlic develops large, broad and flat leaves that are grayish to green in color and have waxy appearance.
Elephant garlic produces pink flowers on top of the flowering stalk.
Elephant garlic does not produce regular seed (like garlic). Cloves function like "seed" and they are used for the propagation of the plant.
Elephant garlic is self-seeding plant. That means that plant can propagate itself without external assistance. Elephant garlic easily produces dense clumps of new plants around the "mother" plant. Large number of plants on the small area eventually starts to disturb growth of individual plants due to competition for the nutrients from the soil.
Elephant garlic can be planted in the spring or in the fall. Once the flowers start to dry, elephant garlic is mature and ready for the harvest. Elephant garlic usually reaches maturity 90 to 150 days after planting.
During the first year of growth, elephant garlic produces single, large clove. During the second year of growth, clove starts to divide into multiple cloves.
Name "elephant garlic" refers to the fact that its bulb looks like a huge clove of garlic. Botanically speaking, elephant garlic is not true garlic. It is actually a type of leek.
Mature bulbs of elephant garlic are used in human diet. They have light aroma and milder and sweeter taste compared to garlic. Delicate flavor of elephant garlic is ideal for people who dislike strong, pungent taste of garlic.
Elephant garlic is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin B9 and calcium.
Elephant garlic can be consumed raw (in the form of salads) or it can be cooked, roasted, grilled, pureed and used as ingredient of soups and stews.
Elephant garlic is not as healthy as classic garlic, but it can be used to facilitate digestion and improve functioning of the immune system.
Elephant garlic is used in many cultures to protect people against evil spirits.
Elephant garlic is perennial plant (lifespan: more than 2 years).

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