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Tulbaghia violacea 'Society Garlic'


Tulbaghia violacea

Common Name

Society Garlic


Evergreen, clump forming perennial which is very useful as a garden border plant. A cottage garden favorite, it has long narrow blue grey leaves, similar to garlic or chives, extending up to 30 cm with dainty lilac clustered flowers on tall stems. The foliage has a strong garlic smell when bruised. Native to South Africa and was named after Rky Tulbagh who was a governor on the Cape of Good Hope. A widely planted food plant as it is very tough, even planted in roundabouts and street plantings and used as a border.  It has edible leaves as well as flowers and comes in a green-leaf and variegated-leaf form.  Society garlic does best where it gets six hours of full sun every day.

Flower Time

Early summer to autumn with a lovely fragrance


Grows 30-50cm high x 30-50cm wide


This clump forming plant will not become aggressive, and is stunning along pathways, as a border, rock gardens, inner city narrow gardens or as an edging plant. Ideal for the herb garden, as both the leaves and flowers can be used in salads and other dishes & the garlic smell repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes when crushed.

Position  Full to part sun


Easily grown with low watering needs, but will flourish if regularly watered. Light frost hardy.

At a Glance

•             Free flowering

•             Hardy

•             Narrow gardens

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