Ontos Purple

Turban Group Hardneck – Weakly Bolting

Ontos Purple was selected and developed from a small bulb purchased at a Melbourne market by Fred Koch and Neroli Hadfield of Ontos Farm, East Gippsland. It won the Gold Medal at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards in 2014.

General Information

Other Names None known
International Names None, this is an Australian cultivar
Flavour An excellent flavour, nice garlic aroma when cut. Hot rich flavour raw, sweet and nutty when roasted.
Storage Short to medium storage, 4-5 months.
Growing location Grows well in most garlic growing regions of Australia from Northern NSW to Tasmania on the East coast. SA and mid to southern WA.
Growing requirements Normal growing conditions, but need to keep an eye on it near harvest (especially in warmer more humid climates) as it goes very quickly from nearly ready to harvest, to past the best time to harvest. If you leaves them too long the skins will split. Also make sure it gets adequate water during bulb swell.
Planting and harvest Early planting and early harvest.


Ontos Purple has large flattened to almost globe shaped bulbs, 6.5-7 cm, with a flat base.
Skin colour and texture
Pale pink with red stripes when first harvested. After curing skins are pale mauve to white with strong purple stripes and some blotching. This fades over time. Skins are strong but thin and inclined to flake.


Number and layout
About 10-12 cloves in one or two layers.
Size and shape
Some quite slender but most chubby and blunt tipped, 3 cm tall x 1.5-2 cm wide. All have an rounded by angled inner edge.
Skin colour and texture
Cloves are tan at the base, grading to purple at the top with some faint striping.


Size and shape
In mild to warm climates plants are normally strong, but not overly substantial to 60cm without the scape. In cool climates the plants are often stronger and more substantial.
Leaves Medium width, long and floppy many fold ½ way along the leaf. Leaves spaced up the pseudostem with medium gaps.
Young plants
Generally strong and well advanced compared to other groups at 12 weeks. Tall pseudostem with leaves well-spaced and lower leaves horizontal.
Matures Plants mature quickly with rapid bulb development just before harvest. In warmer regions its essential to harvest as soon as the bulbs are large enough to avoid badly split skins and also side shooting. In cooler regions you have more time. 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 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. This is especially true in warm, humid regions.
A properly formed scape will typically be 1m in length and quite thick 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 develop as they have little effect on bulb size.
Umbel and beak
The beak is long, usually 20 or more centimetres. The umbel area starts out with a rose blush but becomes whitish as it develops. Umbel quote large and turban shaped.
Bulbils and flowers
  • Tiny bulbils in garlic umbel.
30-50+ bulbils of 3-4 x rice-grain size,1 cm long, pointed at one end. Mauve purple with deeper purple stripes.