Monaro Purple

Turban Group Hardneck – Weakly Bolting

The story about Monaro Purple says that it first appeared in the Snowy Mountains around 80 years ago when the first Yugoslavian tunnel diggers for the Snowy Hydro Scheme brought the garlic out from Europe. While there is no proof of this proposition, there is also no reason why it couldn’t be true. The name Monaro comes from the Monaro region of Southern NSW, that also encompases a small part of Victoria near the Snowy River National Park. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is also often seen as being part of the Monaro region. Most of this regions is a plateau that lies 1,000 metres above sea level.

General Information

Other Names Purple Monaro
International Names None, this is an Australian cultivar
Flavour A good rich garlic flavour, hot raw and milder and more nutty when roasted.
Storage Short to medium.
Growing location Grows well in most garlic growing regions of Australia except the most humid. Southern NSW to Tasmania, SA and Southern WA.
Growing requirements Likes winter cold and needs to be harvested quickly once bulbs are mature especially in warmer, more humid regions.
Planting and harvest Plant and harvest early.


Medium round flattened bulbs to 5-6 cm.
Skin colour and texture
  • Striped purple garlic bulb
When first harvested the skin is red/pink with strong blotching. After curing skins are pale mauve with strong purple striping or blotching. Skin is strong but thin and flakes easily.


Number and layout
  • garlic bulbs
10-11 cloves in one layer with sometimes a few smaller internal cloves.
Size and shape
Large, chunky to more slender blunt tipped cloves. 2.5 cm tall x 1.5-2 cm wide. The cloves’ inner surface is angled but rounded.
Skin colour and texture
Creamy pink and tan, with purple striping, becoming more tan with aging.


Size and shape
  • Monaro Purple plants
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.
Scape A weakly bolting scape forms an upsidedown U.
Umbel and beak
Small turban shaped umbel with a long beak.
Bulbils and flowers Small to medium rice-grain sized or bigger pink and red bulbils. Usually 20 to 50.
No flowers.