• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon

rocambole

  • Other common names rocambole
    serpent garlic

    hardneck garlic

    see more
  • Synonyms Allium contortum
    Allium controversum

    Allium ophioscorodon
    Allium sativum var. subrotundum

    see more
  • Family Alliaceae

  • Genus Allium are bulbous herbaceous perennials with a strong onion or garlic scent, linear, strap-shaped or cylindrical basal leaves and star-shaped or bell-shaped flowers in an umbel on a leafless stem

  • Details A. sativum var. ophioscorodon is an edible, bulbous perennial, to 60cm high, with linear grey-green leaves. In summer, umbels of pinkish-white flowers are borne on flower stalks that are initially coiled like a snake before straightening out. If being grown as an annual for culinary use, each bulb will yield between four and ten cloves or bulbils

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Fragrance Leaf

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H5

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grows best in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation Propagate by seed or by division

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cottage & Informal Garden Gravel Garden

How to care

Pruning None required

Pests Slugs and snails may attack new growth

Diseases Onion white rot and downy mildews may occur

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.