Spicy Korean
Umbels and bulbs


Spicy Korean Red

Allium Sativum Ophioscorodon

Personality profile: We've not yet met Spicy Korean's personality but have heard tell that she is quite sassy and can belt out a good karaoke under the right conditions; she's unashamed and ready for action but mild mannered and down to earth once you get to know her.

Cloves: Averages 9 cloves and, like any Rocambole, you can expect some doubles and triples in there. Skins peel with exceptional ease and are light brown in color.

Bulbils: Anywhere from 5 to 25 largish bulbils (that's a German Red Umbel in the photo, which is similar). All but the smallest will produce fully cloved, though small, bulbs in the very first year. We find that the cloves of "1 year olds" have much tighter clove wrappers and thus will store longer than mature bulbs.

Growing: Spicy Korean is a new cultivar for us, but being a Rocambole it's safe to assume a few things. Avoid "wet-feet" and choose a sunny spot to plant; consider a raised bed if you have heavy clay soil. It should produce broad leaves and tightly curling double looped scapes. Wait for the scape to do a tightly curled double loop before removing, or you may want to just leave it on. Removing the scape does help increase bulb size, but not overly so.

Harvest: Early to mid-season harvest. Since the wrappers of Rocamboles are so loose and thin you need to watch out for deteriorating bulb wrappers in the ground. The more wrappers the better, so harvest as soon as you're comfortable with bulb size (maybe after just one or two leaves are brown).

Storage: The common agreement is that Rocamboles store least long of all the horticultural groups. However, under ideal conditions we've found that they can store at least 8 months, but typically you should probably eat your Rocamboles first, within 4-5 months, to make sure and use them while freshest.

Pedigree: Comes to us from Boundary Garlic who obtained it from Randy White in Mission.