Flinders Island Purple

Turban Group Hardneck – Weakly Bolting

Flinders Island Purple is originally sourced from  Sophie & Mark Pitchford Brymworth Farm, Flinders Island. It was grown by them from a cultivar called Tasmanian Purple, and may originally have come from New Zealand Purple. New Zealand Purple was called this because it came from NZ to Australia, but was not called this in NZ. New Zealand Purple was starting to be widely available in Australia in 1984 and confusingly at this time was also called Red Japanese (M. Schultz, Leeton NSW. Garlic Varieties, 1984). It is possible that many Australian Turbans have been developed from New Zealand Purple (also known as Purple New Zealand — Y strain).

General Information

Other Names Tasmanian Purple
International Names None known
Flavour Nice rich sweet garlic smell when cut open. Raw mild with a little bit of heat & pleasant taste. Sautéed nice garlic flavor a little bit nutty but not as much as a Standard Purple Stripe cultivars.
Storage Short, 4-5 months.
Growing location Not fussy, grows in nearly all regions where garlic can be grown. Grows well in mild to warm climates.
Growing requirements Not fussy, very easy to grow. Take care not to let the plants suffer water shortage.
Planting and harvest Early to mid planting and harvest.


Large round and flattened, typically about 6 to 7cm.
Skin colour and texture
When freshly dug can have purple splotches or purple stripes on white. Some years the purple stripes can be very strong and the bulb can be quite purple, especially in cooler seasons. They dry mainly white with pale purple stripes and became whiter toward the centre.
Skins are medium to thick wrappers and wrap the bulbs well but they are easily split and peeled and tend to split and flake away as they age.


Number and layout
In mild and warm climates there are 12 - 14 large cloves with typically 6 cloves in 2/3rd circle around center and another 4 cloves on the other side inside a 2nd leaf which also has 2 to 3 cloves on the inside layer. The cloves sit out from the central scape when fat. In cooler climes there may only be 8 – 10 cloves in a single layer around the centre.
Size and shape
Medium size cloves with average weight 5gm. The outer cloves are plump with blunt tips and of similar size and shape. The inner cloves are a bit smaller. Most have 2 flat sides with few soft edges with the inside being somewhat rounded.
Skin colour and texture
Varies with the season and from cool to warm climates. Can be purple on tan or white with traces of striping, can be light tan/white with a purple/tan/rose blush around bottoms as well as purple striping and at other times mainly tan. Fine to medium thick and whilst adhering tightly to the cloves they peel easily. Range from matt to somewhat shiny.


Size and shape
In mild to warm climates plants are normally strong, but not overly substantial to 45 - 50cm without the scape. In cool climates the plants are often stronger and quite substantial.
Leaves Medium width, long and floppy many fold ½ way along the leaf. Leaves spaced up the pseudostem with medium gaps.
Young plants
Strong and well advanced compared to other groups at 12 weeks. Tall pseudostem with leaves well-spaced and lower leaves horizontal.
Matures Plants mature very fast with rapid bulb development just before harvest. Must harvest as soon as the bulbs are large enough to avoid badly split skins and also side shooting. In mild to warm climate the plants weaken near maturity and in some seasons they can lean or fall over. In cool climates the plants tend to remain strong.
Some seasons there may be 100% bolt but in other seasons some will bolt, some will send out a weak scape which does not develop and some will not send up a scape.
A properly formed scape will typically be slender doing up to a 180 degree loop (upside down U) before straightening. Often the scapes do not bother with the loop instead staying straight or just hanging out there. Scapes are normally hollow and tend to fall out of the bulbs as they dry after harvest. Scapes can be left to develope as they have little effect on bulb size.
Umbel and beak The beak is long, usually 21 to 23cm. The umbel area starts out with a rose blush but becomes whitish as it develops and is short compared to others. Umbel about the size of $2 coin & a bit turban shaped.
Bulbils and flowers Varies with the season and on the strength of the scape but typically about 25 to 50 bulbils. Various sizes 1 – 3x rice. Various shapes but typically squat and roundish widest mid-bottom, with rounded ends. Various colours dark purple/maroon, light purples & white. No flowers.