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Tulbaghia violacea


Tulbaghia violacea

Family Name: Alliaceae
Common Name: Wild Garlic, Society Garlic


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Shrub


Native Distribution South Africa

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A perennial herb, it can grow up to 30cm tall. 
Foliage Its spirally-arranged, thin, linear leaves are greyish-green, arising from a tuberous rootstock. The leaves also give off the scent of garlic when bruised. 
Flowers The fragrant, purple flowers are arranged at the tip of a stalked inflorescence. 
Fruit Its fruits are triangular capsules which split open when ripe. 
Cultivation It is best grown under full sun, in well-drained soil. Plants can tolerate partial shade with decreased flowering. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers
Food (Herb or Spice): The leaves are edible and are used as flavouring in soups and salads. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers, Foliage)
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Parks & Gardens, Flowerbed / Border
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed, Division


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Trumpet-shaped

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit , Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 1239
Species ID 2532
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.