University of California

Anatomy of the garlic bulb and factors affecting bulb development


Louis K. Mann

Author Affiliations

Louis K. Mann was Assistant Professor of Truck Crops and Assistant Olericulturist in the Experiment Station, Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 21(8):195-251. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n08p195. January 1952.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Abstract does not appear. First page follows.

This investigation on the structure of garlic (Allium sativum L.) was undertaken to establish a background for cultural studies on garlic as a crop plant. While garlic is one of the oldest crops under cultivation, there have been few studies on either its structure or its development under field conditions.

The data presented here are essentially descriptive; in only one or two instances were developmental studies made. All vegetative parts of the plant are described but not the seedstalks or flowers. Since any structural study should be closely related to the gross development of the plant in the field, data obtained on factors affecting plant development, especially bulbing and seedstalk formation, are included.

As indicated above, the literature on garlic is limited. Several recent works have dealt with onion anatomy, and most of the references on this subject may be found in (Hoffman (1933)),3(Hector (1938)), and (Hayward (1938)). Other references dealing with the anatomy of the various species of Allium—in some cases specifically with garlic—which should be added to the above list include the papers by (Irmisch (1850)), (Falkenberg (1876)), (Tavel (1887)), (Baldrati (1897)), (Menz (1910), (1922), and (Braecke (1921)).

General information on varieties of garlic and cultural problems is to be found in (Beattie (1937)), (McCallum and Knott (1942)), (Comin (1942)), (Altstatt and Smith (1942)), and (Smith et at. (1944)). About 80 per cent of the commercial garlic grown in the United States is produced in California (Rock, 1950). Here the crop is usually planted in fall or winter and begins growth with the fall rains. The plants grow slowly during the winter, more rapidly in the spring, and mature in June or July.

All observations reported here were made on either the Early or Late varieties of garlic as described by (McCallum and Knott (1942)). There are few qualitative anatomical differences between the two varieties, so that, except in special cases, no varietal designations will be given. It should be noted that varietal names in garlic have mostly only local application, and it is difficult to determine from the literature any varietal synonymy for the different garlic-growing areas in the United States.

Literature Cited

Altstatt G. E., Smith H. P. Production, diseases, and insects of garlic in Texas. Tex. Agr. Ext. Sta. Cir. 1942. 98:13

Anantakrishnan C. P., Venkataraman P. R. Chemistry of garlic (Allium sativum L.) Part III. The reserve polysaccharides. Indian Acad. Sci. Proc. Section B. 1941. 13(2):129-133.

Arber Agnes. On the leaf structure of certain Liliaceae, considered in relation to the phyllode theory. Ann. Bot. 1920. 34:447-465.

Bailey L. H. Manual of cultivated plants. 1949. New York: Macmillan. 1,116p.

Baldrati I. La struttura anatomica e la interpretazione morfologica della perula del bulbo di alcune specie del genera “Allium”. Nuovo Gior. Bot. Ital. Nuova Ser. 1897. 4:214-223.

Beattie J. H. Production of garlic. U. S. Dept. Agr. Leaflet. 1937. 138:5

Belval H. Amaryllidacées et Liliacées. La réserve glucidique de l’ail et de la tubéreuse. Bul. Soc. Chim. Biol. 1939. 21(2):294-297. (Seen in abstract only.)

Braecke Marie. Étude microchimique du bulbe d’ail. Brussels Acad. Roy. de Belg. Cl. des Sci. Mém. in 8°. Ser. 2. 1921. 6:1-36.

Cheadle Vernon I., Whitford Uhl Natalie. Types of vascular bundles in the monocotyledoneae and their relation to the late metaxylem conducting elements. Amer. Jour. Bot. 1948. 35:486-496. DOI: 10.2307/2438166 [CrossRef]

Comin Donald. Growing garlic in the north. Ohio Agr. Expt. Sta. Bimonthly Bul. 1942. 27(215):70-71.

Debbarman P. M. A peculiar bulb of Allium sativum Linn. Indian Bot. Soc. Jour. 1923. 3:296-297. (Seen in abstract only.)

Esau Katherine. Origin and development of primary vascular tissues in seed plants. Bot. Rev. 1943. 9:125-206. DOI: 10.1007/BF02872466 [CrossRef]

Falkenberg P. Vergleichende Untersuchungen über den Bau der Vegetationsorgane der Monocotyledonen. 1876. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke. 202p.

Foster Adriance S. Practical plant anatomy. 1949. 2d ed. New York: D. Van Nostrand. 228p. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.5975 [CrossRef]

Guttenberg Hermann V. Die physiologischen Scheiden. Handbuch der Pflanzenanatomie, Abt. 1, Teil 2. 1943. 5: Berlin: Borntraeger. 217p. Bd

Haberlandt G. Physiological plant anatomy. 1914. Translated from fourth German edition London: Macmillan. 777p. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.28492 [CrossRef]

Hayward Herman E. The structure of economic plants. 1938. New York: Macmillan. 674p. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-193910000-00033 [CrossRef]

Heath O. V. S. Formative effects of environmental factors as exemplified in the development of the onion plant. Nature, London. 1945. 155:623-626. DOI: 10.1038/155623a0 [CrossRef]

Heath O. V. S., Holdsworth M., Tincker M. A. H., Brown F. C. Studies in the physiology of the onion plant. III. Further experiments on the effects of storage temperature and other factors on onions grown from sets. Ann. Appl. Biol. 1947. 34:473-502. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.1947.tb06383.x [CrossRef]

Hector J. M. Introduction to the botany of field crops. 1938. 2: Johannesburg, South Africa: Central News Agency Ltd. 1,127p. v

Hoffman Charles Andrew. Developmental morphology of Allium cepa. Bot. Gaz. 1933. 95:279-299.

Iltis Hugo. An immigrant conquers a continent: the story of the wild garlic. Sci. Monthly. 1949. 68:122-128.

Irmisch Thilo. Zur morphologie der monokotylischen Knollen- und Zwiebelgewächse. 1850. Berlin: G. Reimer. 286p.

Jones H. A. Onion improvement. 1937. Wash.: U. S. Dept. Agr. Yearbook of Agriculture. Govt. Printing Off. 1,497p.

Kihara Yosiziro. Carbohydrates of the bulbs of Allium. IX. Agr. Chem. Soc. Japan, Jour. 1939. 15:348-352. (Seen in abstract only.)

Kirchner O. von, Loew E., Schröter C. Lebensgeschichte der Blütenpflanzen Mitteleuropas. 1912. 1(3):3713-373. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.16520 [CrossRef]

Krause K., Engler A., Prantl K. Liliaceae. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. 1930. 15a:2. Auflage. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann. p. 227-386. Band

Krauss Beatrice H. Anatomy of the vegetative organs of the pineapple, Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. I. Introduction, organography, the stem, and the lateral branch or axillary buds. Bot. Gaz. 1948. 110:159-217.

Anatomy of the vegetative organs of the pineapple, Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. III. The root and the cork. Bot. Gaz. 1949. 110:550-587. DOI: 10.1086/335557 [CrossRef]

Krivenko A. A. A cytological study of garlic (Allium sativum L.). [Russian]. Biologicheskîi Zhurnal. 1938. 7:47-68.

McCallum Roy D., Knott J. E. Growing and handling garlic in California. Calif. Agr. Ext. Serv. Leaflet. 1942. 84:18

Magruder Roy, et al. Descriptions of types of principal American varieties of onions. U. S. Dept. Agr. Misc. Pub. 1941. 435:87

Mangin L. Origine et insertion des racines adventives et modifications corrélatives de la tige chez les monocotylédones. Ann. des Sci. Nat., Bot. Ser. 6. 1882. 14:216-363.

Menz Johanna. Beiträge zur vergleichenden Anatomie der Gattung Allium nebst einigen Bemerkungen über die anatomischen Beziehungen zwischen Allioideae und Amaryllidoideae. Akad. der Wiss. Wien, Math.-Nat. Kl. Sitzber. Abt. 1910. 1(1):475-533. 119

Menz Giovanna. Osservazioni sull’ anatomica degli organi vegetativi delle specie italiane del genere Allium (Tourn.) L. appartenenti alla sezione “Molium” G. Don. Sassari R. Univ. Inst. Bot. Bul. v. 1 Mem. 1922. 5:1-27.

Rendle A. B. On the vesicular vessels of the onion. Ann. Bot. 1889. 3:169-177.

Rock Robert C. Garlic. Production and imports, shipments and prices. Univ. Calif. Agr. Ext. Serv. Mimeo. 1950. p.8.

Sass John E. Elements of botanical microtechnique. 1940. New York: McGraw-Hill. 222p.

Smith H. P., Altstatt G. E., Byrom M. H. Harvesting and curing of garlic to prevent decay. Tex. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1944. 651:28

Stephenson John, Morss Churchill James, Burnett Gilbert T. Medical Botany, ed. 1835. 3: London: John Churchill. by v

Tavel F. von. Die mechanischen Schutzvorrichtungen der Zwiebeln. Deut. bot. Gesell., Ber. 1887. 5:438-458.

Van Fleet D. S. The development and distribution of the endodermis and an associated oxidase system in monocotyledonous plants. Amer. Jour. Bot. 1942. 29:1-15.

Vanin A. O. Why does garlic bolt? [Russian] 1947. pp.36-37. Sad i Ogorod. No. 10

Weaver John E., Bruner William E. Root development of vegetable crops. 1927. New York: McGraw-Hill. 351p. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.45903 [CrossRef]

Weber Erna. Entwicklungsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen über die Gattung Allium. Bot. Archiv. 1929. 25:1-44.

Mann L. 1952. Anatomy of the garlic bulb and factors affecting bulb development. Hilgardia 21(8):195-251. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n08p195
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu