garlic1518
Garlic (Allium sativum) Estonian Red, topsets removed

Nomally garlic do not set true seeds, but reproduce vegetatively by cloves and topsets. It has been like that for thousands of years, and even in nature garlic rarely sets true seeds. A few populations have been found in the northwest Tien Shan mountains in central asia, where wild garlic sets true seeds occasionally. I have read how scientists by tedious labour have been able to produce true garlic seeds, and growing garlics from them. Now it’s time to try it out.

garlic1521
Garlic (Allium sativum) Chinese Purple, topsets removed

First problem is that the flowers wither away before they produce seeds. Their short individual stalks can’t take the pressure from the swelling topsets, and thus die away. Therefore I remove the topsets, when they are large enough to handle. It’s very slow work, I have only done it on a few scapes.

garlic1543
Garlic (Allium sativum) Susan Delafield, topsets not yet removed

On Susan Delafield the topsets are still to small for me to handle. Maybe for the same reason there are so many flowers?

If the small flowers survive and bloom, next problem must be handled. Garlic are often male sterile, pollen is infertile. Luckily one can see on the anthers, if that’s the case. Purple anthers has fertile pollen, light colored anthers have sterile or no pollen.

garlic1544
Garlic (Allium sativum) Korean Red, topsets removed

The answer to the headline question is “yes, probaly”.
But then the seeds are not very likely to grow. If some of them do grow, it will take years to form a garlic. If you join me, as I hope, we are in for a true challenge.

A great thanks to Patrick from Bifucated Carrots who inspired and helped me stepping out on this path. He has a post on this subject.

About these ads