Tulbaghia violacea, Society Garlic, is a remarkably tough bulbous perennial from South Africa with long linear foliage and tall racemes of small pinkish-mauve flowers. It has an extended flowering season in the UK and it is capable of flowering from May through to November. That's quite a performance! And although it prefers a well-drained gritty soil it is tolerant of heavier, wetter substrates particularly if on a sloping incline. Both the foliage and flowers have a powerful yet pleasant aroma of garlic when bruised.
Like many South African plants, Tulbaghia violacea has a strong vigorous root system and although they are not in the same size league as Agapanthus, Clivia or Strelitzia they are nonetheless impressive for a perennial geophyte. The plants clump up quickly and very soon you will have a sizeable but well-behaved low-maintennce colony which can easily be divided if necessary. The warm aphid-repelling aroma of garlic is an added bonus.
|Synonyms||Omentaria violacea, Tulbaghia cepacea var. maritima, Tulbaghia cepacea var. robustior, Tulbaghia violacea var. minor, Tulbaghia violacea var. obtusa, Tulbaghia violacea var. robustior, Tulbaghia violacea subsp. violacea, Tulbaghia violacea var. violacea|
|Geographical Origin||South Africa: Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Limpopo|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Well-drained soil. Drought-tolerant. Will surprisingly take a heavier wetter soil particularly if on a slope|
|Eventual Height||45cm - flowers to 65cm|
|Eventual Spread||30cm and more, forming clumps|
|Hardiness||Hardy. Appreciates a mulch and a more sheltered aspect in colder regions|
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