Tulbaghia violacea

Tulbaghia violacea


Common Names

wildeknoffel, wildeknoflok (afrikaans)
wild garlic, society garlic (english)
utswelane (xhosa)
isihaqa, incinsini (zulu)


Genus Tulbaghia
Species violacea
SA Plant Number
Basionym Tulbaghia violacea


Tulbaghia violacea is a very hardy, evergreen, tuft forming bulbous plant, with semi-succulent, strap-like, grey-green leaves that are garlic scented when bruised.

Long stalks carrying umbels of delicate lilac to pink flowers are borne mainly from January to April. It will however bloom on and off almost all year in cultivation.

The flowers are sweetly scented at night and make excellent cut flowers. Use in the garden as a companion plant, particularly to deter aphids.

When sitting outside whack some of the leaves on your table or chair and this will deter flies and mosquitoes.

Used medicinally. It can also be used as a garlic substitute in salads, soups and stews. The flowers are a decorative addition to a salad.

An excellent groundcover for difficult areas as it can thrive in very poor soils and with very little watering. Adding compost to the soil and watering regularly will, however, boost this bulb's flowering, and its growth will be far more lush. Plant in sun or semi-shade.

Size up to 25cm




KwaZulu Natal,  Eastern Cape, Western Cape

Rocky grassland


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