Society Garlic ( Alliaceae Tublighia violacea )

This is a plant that took forever for me to id. The more common a plant is, the less likely it is to be found in the local garden books.

Society garlic is a South African native.

Society garlic grows from a bulb and loves the heat. If winters are colder than normal it will bloom later than it will after a warm winter. Society garlic will bloom as long as the weather is warm. The leaves remain green through out the winter.

Plant in full to part sun.

Watering needs are average and it is drought tolerant, but will flower less during a drought.

Mine clearly needs some dividing, that will likely have to keep until next fall.

The leaves will reach 8″ to a 12″ in height the flowers are raised tall on stalks a foot or more above the top of the leaves.

This is a low maintenance plant and works well as a border plant. The flowers have a pleasant smell, the leaves smell like garlic if damaged. So it is not a good plant for a walkway border.

Some sources say the name comes from the fact you can eat this garlic and it will not cause bad breath, other sources say it is toxic. Some claim it will repel bugs from your garden.  I use it just as an ornamental.

Survived just fine through 3 months of 100’F plus days and no rain

9 thoughts on “Society Garlic ( Alliaceae Tublighia violacea )

  1. I first saw this in Diana’s garden and thought it was a lovely plant. The flowers are attractive – when I read the name, I pictured an elegant summer tea where everyone wore colourful hats.

  2. There’s a Society Garlic with variegated leaves… actually I’ve seen that one more often than the plain green. I guess if my friends have a choice between solid color and green & white stripes, they go for the variation ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. I’ve never seen the variegated version. Either it’s not as common in Houston as Austin or I just didn’t recognize what it is.

    I’ll have to look out for it. I bet it is nicer looking.

  4. I have just planted some society garlic in a border flower bed (I’m really new at the gardining thing!) and need some help on the care of the plant. After the blooms are spent, how do I trim the stalks back so that they will re-bloom? Any information that you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

  5. I just cut the flower stalks off below leaf level after they are done blooming.

    The stalks turn brown and are easy to just tug off if you leave them go that long.

    It’s a very easy plant to grow, you should have no trouble with it.

  6. This plant surprised me, about half of the leaves on about half of the plants turned to mush after the 3 day freeze, looks ugly, but I expect it’ll be just fine when the weather warms up.

Comments are closed.