Gourmet Garlic: Marbled Purple Stripe


| 6/17/2014 1:05:00 PM


In this post, I’m going to return to discussing the different types of gourmet garlic available by introducing the 'Marbled Purple Stripe' variety, the ‘everyman’ of the garlic world. There is some argument as to whether 'Marbled Purple Stripes' are a sub-type of the Purple Stripe grouping or whether they are a distinct category of their own. Genetic evidence suggests that they do in fact deserve their own separate classification, and many growers support this division. Some common examples of Marbled Purple Stripes that you may find locally include Siberian, Metechi and Bogatyr.

Cultivation 'Marbled Purple Stripe'

Siberian2

'Marbled Purple Stripe' cultivars are a hardneck variety and thus flourish in colder climates due to the extended period of dormancy, but they are also one of the few hardnecks known to perform well in warmer regions, making them a reliable choice for most climates. As an added bonus to coastal regions, 'Marbled Purple Stripes' are more forgiving of wetter conditions than other varieties tend to be.

The plants are tall and robust, with wide medium green leaves. Scape stalks are thick and will grow quite tall if not cut. Like other hardneck varieties, the scapes will curl and then straighten as they mature. As mentioned in my post on garlic scapes, 'Marbled Purple Stripe' cultivars must have their scapes removed in a timely manner or the size of the bulbs at harvest may be significantly reduced. Mature plants are typically harvested mid-season.

Atop the scape is a large umbel that contains an abundance of small to medium-sized bulbils. The size of these bulbils makes increasing your planting stock relatively inefficient, since in their diminutive size means that they will take approximately three years to produce small bulbs that are fully differentiated into individual cloves. If you are willing to put in the time, however, saving the bulbils is useful since Marbled Purple Stripes contain fewer cloves compared to bulbs of similar size, requiring you to retain a greater amount of stock for seed.







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