Allium Species, Elephant Garlic, Wild Leek, Yorktown Onion

Allium ampeloprasum

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium (AL-ee-um) (Info)
Species: ampeloprasum (am-pel-oh-PRAY-sum) (Info)
Synonym:Allium adscendens
Synonym:Allium albescens
Synonym:Allium ascendens
Synonym:Allium babingtonii
Synonym:Allium bertolonii





Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the bulb's scales

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama

Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Harrison, Arkansas

Lancaster, California

Soquel, California

Hawthorne, Florida

Hilliard, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Cleveland, Georgia

Hahira, Georgia

Snellville, Georgia

Statesboro, Georgia

Traverse City, Michigan

Marietta, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

New Paltz, New York

Greenville, North Carolina

Vinton, Ohio

Garber, Oklahoma

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Gold Hill, Oregon

Portland, Oregon(2 reports)

South Beach, Oregon

Cookeville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas(2 reports)

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Sandy, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

Jonesville, Virginia

Madison Heights, Virginia

Bellevue, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 14, 2015, TheLoud from Atlanta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant grew well in Ithaca, NY, zone 5b, survived my move, and is now growing well near Atlanta, GA, zone 7b. A nice perennial vegetable.


On Jun 1, 2012, Irislover_73 from Bellefonte, AR wrote:

This plant is SOOOO easy to grow and is not bothered by pests in our garden. The mild flavor makes it perfect for cooking, especially when children are eating the dish. The only thing with our's is that it does not make cloves, each plant produces just one big bulb.


On May 31, 2012, graceful_garden from Hahira, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Be sure to save the bulbils that form amongst the roots of Elephant Garlic - plant them, & they are supposed to form a solid bulb the first year, then a multi-cloved "head" the second year. Just harvesting my first real crop of Elephant garlic - after planting purchased "pearls" last fall. These pearls are young solid bulbs. Have about 6 bulbils on each of the harvested "heads", so will cure these & plant them in the fall.


On May 22, 2012, trooperwon from New Paltz, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted the cloves in June of 2011. It did not flower. I left them in the ground all winter. they came back to life this spring of 2012 and they are about to flower. I will collect the seeds and try to grow the plants from seed next year.


On Mar 1, 2011, grovespirit from Sunset Valley, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I like to grow this plant just for its lovely flowers, because I don't want to have to water it a lot to get the big, edible cloves from it. Produces a very ornamental inflorescence similar to the commercial showy allium called 'drumstick allium'.


On Jul 7, 2009, Galina from Northamptonshire,
United Kingdom wrote:

Originating from sandy sea shores, yet succeeds well in heavy clay. Winterhardy here in zone 8. Needs to be grown in a permanent place. Thrives on neglect.

The plants die down late summer and resprout late autumn or early spring. They grow to size of a leek. Large plants will throw up a flower scape with flowers and bulbils, no seeds are produced. There are large cloves underground after plant has flowered. Propagation from bulbils or cloves (and from scales which remain in the ground after the bulbs are harvested).

Very useful herb/vegetable - all parts of the plant can be eaten. Snip young leaves for salads or egg dishes, use as leek, harvest bulbils and use as garlic (bulbils will keep a few months), dig up cloves and use as garlic. Flavour is like... read more


On Apr 13, 2009, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I find large clumps of this garlic (or actually leek) growing wild around many old homeplaces that were abandoned long ago. I contacted the garlic expert Bob at and he told me what it was and that if watered, it would really form the large cloves familiar in the supermarket, but I've never seen these plants actually do so, but most I've seen got no care at all and survived all droughts, so maybe with some care, they will form the cloves. Bob said the plant was introduced by German settlers in Texas 150 years ago.


On Sep 1, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

just a side note .... critters also like this garlic. Ground squirrils, voles, and gophers. Lost a clump of EG again this year. Thank goodness I have it planted elsewhere.


On May 8, 2005, emilyrasmus from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

A number of elephant garlic bulbswere planted in the garden a number of years ago and now it's growing in every bed, even the shady beds. It's growing everywhere. From when I see a little stalk, I leave it until the next year and then harvest the mild-tasting cloves. It's bothered by few pests, but quickly multiplies.


On Apr 7, 2005, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love Elephant garlic, it is very easy to grow and very reliable, the cloves are large and very mild. I normally grow enough to keep us and our friends supplied for the year. Also the cloves can be frozen whole on a tray, and after they are frozen they can be bagged and they won't stick together, giving you access to whichever ammount of garlic you might need any time of year.


On Jan 23, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Elephant garlic is very mild, its cloves are much bigger than regular garlic. It is really more closely related to leeks than true garlic. It can be used as a substitute for either in cooking.