How Large is a Garlic Clove?

The size of a garlic clove is somewhere between the dimensions of a grape and an almond. This would make it roughly equal to a teaspoon. However, the dimensions can differ depending on the overall size of the herb.


Known scientifically as Allium sativum, the herb is part of the Alliaceae family. Its closest relations are the onions, leek and chives. The edible herb frequently associated with garlic is its bulb. The clove bulbs are located under the leafy growth.

Hardneck and Softneck

There are different types, but they are generally divided between softneck and hardneck. The main difference between the two is that the hardneck relays up a flower stalk known as the scape. This part is also edible. This type is not very well known in America. While the size of a garlic clove varies, most of the types sold in groceries are softneck.

Origin and History

Archeological records show the herb has been used as far back as ancient Egypt. The best evidence for this are the samples found in King Tut’s tomb. It was used mainly for flavoring food. However, its medicinal properties were well known by ancient civilizations. During ancient times, they were used to repel insects and other irritants.

Garlic is also known to keep vampires away. Belief in this was most prevalent during the medieval age. Today, the substance is grown throughout the world. Today, 90% of all garlic produced in the US is in California.


The bulb is made up of 4 to 60 cloves. They are usually 1 to 3 inches in diameter (4-7.5 cm.). Some can reach a height of 10 inches to 5 feet. The white flowers will have a green or rose cast. The bulbs are creamy. A few may have a purple shade. This hue may also be apparent in the paper like cover that envelopes the bulb.

Other Information

The herb is a perennial and is ideally planted during the fall. Harvest time is the following year. It has to be planted with the pointed side up. Well drained soil is required. Once it is ready, you can use it in a variety of dishes.

The size of a garlic clove will determine how much you can use for a particular dish. Aside from food, you can also make the Italian bagna cauda dip and French aioli sauce with the herb. Garlic bread of course, requires it.

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