Garden of Eatin' / Vegetables

World’s Smallest Garlic

World's smallest garlic

Have you harvested your garlic yet? After curing and cleaning off my crop this season, I came across these tiny bulbs of Siciliano Artichoke garlic.

Each bulb measures less than an inch across and fits perfectly between my fingers! Sometimes you get a clove that grows throughout the season but never divides itself into individual cloves (a natural phenomenon called single-clove garlic or garlic rounds).

But, I’ve never heard of a clove that divides itself throughout the season but never grows!

Tiny Siciliano artichoke garlic

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Su
    August 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I planted garlic bulbils for the first time this year which mostly grew rounds which I will plant this fall but 3 or 4 of the larger bulbils actually turned into tiny garlic bulbs like yours.

    • Linda Ly
      August 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      I’ve heard that bulbils take a couple of years to form mature garlic heads, so you’ll probably get some decent-sized bulbs with your second planting!

  • Gtnsailor
    July 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Looks like good garlic for pickling! Yum!

  • Leela
    July 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Betty ~ I have a garlic question that I can’t find an answer to online. We harvested our garlic and have bunches of tiny bulbs like yours. This is because some of the garlic sets we planted were tiny cloves that I intended solely for garlic greens. We planted so many that much of it fully matured (to the 1 inch size) before it could be eaten. I don’t want to mess with separating these tiny bulbs and replanting as individuals for more garlic greens and definitely not worth the effort to clean them up for cooking.  Soooo, could I just replant the whole tiny bulb head this fall and get small groupings of garlic greens out of it in the spring? Thank you for your beautiful blog!

    • Linda Ly
      July 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Yes! Just plop the tiny bulb into the ground, and the greens will grow in a cluster (which will make harvesting easier). Bulbs won’t form with the cloves so close together, but since you’re only planting the garlic for greens, this won’t matter.

  • Linda Jones
    July 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

    So where did you stumble on this teeny tiny garlic?

    • Linda Ly
      July 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Just in my garlic bed, amidst all the other full-sized garlic.


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