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Is Garlic a Root, Vegetable, or Stem? (Read This First!)

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The importance of garlic in modern-day cooking has been immense. There are very few dishes that don’t require garlic in order to take the flavor to a whole new level. In modern-day cooking, almost all the dishes need the touch of garlic because every dish remains incomplete without it.

However, many people get confused about whether garlic is a root, vegetable, or stem. Therefore, in this article, we have tried our best to find the answer to this question. Stick to the last word of this article in order to clear your confusion.

Is garlic a root, vegetable, or stem?

To be precise, garlic belongs to three of the groups which are vegetable, stem, or root. In addition, garlic has also been used as the main spice in most dishes due to its strong taste. Garlic is just a swollen bulb that grows underground as a modified stem or modified root.

Whether garlic belongs to the root, vegetable, or stem, but it is mostly known as herbs or spices. Because of its strong taste, garlic has been used in almost all dishes in order to spice up the taste.


Root is one of the lower parts of a plant that grows underground and its main duty is to absorb water from the soil. But the garlic is just a bulb that is covered by a tunic and it has a bunch of fresh leaves on top.

It does belong to the root group and it is a modified stem that is usually known as stem vegetables. Garlic is grown under the soil they do belong to the root group but they don’t have any qualities similar to roots, as they are modified roots.


Usually vegetables actually mean the part of any plant or the plant itself used as food or food ingredient. In short, the plant which can be eaten as food is known as a vegetable.

Garlic belongs to the vegetable as it is a modified stem of Allium Sativum which is a plant. Sometimes people call garlic an herb but it belongs to the vegetable group.

Garlic is like a bulb that is covered by a tunic and grows underground as modified stems of Allium Sativum.


A stem is a part or axis of a plant which slowly develops from the body of a plant outside the soil or sometimes underneath the soil. Stem plays an important role in producing food and transferring the light to the plant.

However, in the case of garlic, it is just a modified part of the stem that grows underneath the soil. Garlic is a modified stem of the plant Allium Sativum.

The part from where the Sativum evolves usually looks like a root and some may make the mistake of calling it a root vegetable because of cultivation underneath the soil. But it is not because the garlic grows from the modified stem of the plant.

Is garlic a bulb?

Garlic is botanically called bulb which is covered by the tunic and has fresh leaves on top. Basically, garlic is a modified stem of the plant called Allium Sativum.

It grows underneath the soil but it is not a root vegetable rather it’s a stem vegetable. The bulb eventually grows bigger and it turns to garlic.

Similar to the onion, the garlic evolves as white bulbs which are very flavourful and the flavor eventually increases with the growth of the garlic. There are different types of garlic bulbs that grow in different climate conditions.

Is garlic a herb or a vegetable?

Actually, garlic is both an herb and a vegetable. It belongs to the group vegetable, and it is widely renowned as a herb. However, garlic has been used in cooking as a herb rather than a vegetable. Due to its strong taste and spice, garlic is used in dishes to enrich the flavor.

Usually, vegetables are those parts of the plant which can be eaten as food. This part can be root, stem, or even leaves. As garlic is a white bulb and belongs to both root vegetable or stem vegetable groups, therefore, its main group is vegetables.

In addition, for being an important ingredient in cooking, garlic is also renowned as an herbs or spice.

Is garlic a root crop?

Yes, garlic is a root crop and it is widely known as root vegetables. Although it doesn’t have any qualities like the root, therefore it can be termed as a modified stem vegetable.

To meet the requirement for being a root crop you will need to have the qualities of the taproot like having the qualities of absorbing water. Some of the true root vegetables are carrots and turnips.

However, another particular quality the root vegetables have is able to grow underground. In this case, there are lots of vegetables that grow underneath the soil.

But not all of them are called root vegetables, rather the vegetables that evolve from the first seed or at least evolve from white bulbs or rhizomes are the root vegetables.

For example, the potato is not a root crop because it is a tuber that can be termed as the stem. In the case of garlic, it slowly evolves from white bulbs which are covered by tunics therefore they can be termed as root crops.

What type of root is garlic?

Garlic is a white bulb type of root. Generally, the rhizomes, tubers, or corms are the parts of the root. Anything that evolves from these parts is known as root vegetables.

Likewise, the garlic also evolves from the white bulbs which are covered by a tunic, therefore it is considered a root crop.

Although it doesn’t serve any purpose like the taproot, therefore, it can also be called stem vegetables. In addition, white bulbs actually evolve from the part of the stem therefore, they are also called underground stem bulbs.

Is garlic genetically modified?

Yes, in the past the garlic was modified by transferring genes. However, this process is currently on hold due to a lack of proper gene transformation.

This process usually increases the taste and nutrients in the plant as well as increases the disease resistance capacity of the plants.

Usually, genetically modified crops have a high yielding as well as require fewer pesticides and can be brought at cheap prices. However, genetically modified crops can be harmful to health. Therefore, the health experts always suggest that you consume organic fresh veggies.

Are garlic roots, sprouts, leaves, and flowers edible?

Yes, you can eat garlic roots, sprouts, leaves, and flowers. Usually, garlic belongs to the group onion or shallots therefore, just like the onion all the parts of the garlic are edible.

You can eat the roots or leaves mixing with the soup because the roots or leaves will double the flavor of the dish.

Also, the sprouts and the flowers can be added to the salads to increase the flavor. Also, you can use the sprouts in sandwiches to make them tastier. Also, you can boil the flowers or sprouts to make green which is quite beneficial for health.

How to grow garlic at home?

Well, you can grow garlic at your home very easily. Firstly you have to find a suitable place where there is enough passage for sunlight. Then you have to select the type of garlic you want to grow and usually, the soft neck garlic is the best to grow in mid-seasons.

Then plant the garlic cloves into the soil keeping seven inches apart from all directions. Then with time take care of the garlic cutting the extra green leaves and all.

Your garlic will be ready when the lower leaves get dark brown. Take the garlic out from the soil and then cut the upper leaves and roots and let them dry under the sun for a few weeks.

When to plant garlic?

Well, it depends on the type of garlic you want to grow. Usually, there are two types of garlic which are soft neck and hard neck garlic.

But most people grow soft-neck garlic because of its high yielding. Therefore, the best time to plant the soft neck garlic is between August to November.

How long to grow garlic from clove?

The main factor that will trigger the garlic to grow from clove is low temperature. If you keep the cloves in less than 35 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for 45 days the garlic will eventually grow from the cloves.

However, the days can vary depending on the temperature as well as depending on the type of garlic.

Final Thoughts:

Garlic is a white bulb that can be termed as root crops. The garlic usually evolves from the stem of the plant Allium Sativum and grows underground; therefore it can be termed as root or stem. Roots, sprouts, leaves, or flowers of garlic are edible for which it is mainly classified as a vegetable.

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