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Due to the sterility of its numerous cultivars, cross-testing with wild relatives is difficult to identify common garlic’s wild ancestor. Garlic is most genetically and morphologically similar to the wild species Allium longicuspis, which is found in central and southwestern Asia.

However, because Allium longicuspis is mostly sterile, it is unlikely to have been Allium sativum’s ancestor. Allium tuncelianum, Allium macrochaetum, and Allium truncatum, all of which are native to the Middle East, are among the other candidates that have been suggested.

In naturalized areas, Allium sativum thrives in the wild. The British varieties of “wild garlic,” “crow garlic,” and “field garlic” are all members of the Allium ursinum, “vineale,” and “oleraceum” species, respectively.

Allium canadense, also known as “meadow garlic,” “wild garlic,” or “wild onion,” and Allium vineale, also known as “wild garlic” or “crow garlic,” are common weeds in fields in North America. The so-called elephant garlic is actually Allium ampeloprasum, a wild leek, not a real garlic. The Yunnan province of China is where single clove garlic, also known as pearl or solo garlic, originated.