High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

herb

Society Garlic

Tulbaghia violacea

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Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) at Moana Nursery

Society Garlic flowers

Society Garlic flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) at Moana Nursery

Society Garlic in bloom

Society Garlic in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 inches

Spacing:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Description:

A fast growing, clumping plant with narrow, strap like leaves that smell strongly of garlic when bruised; lovely lilac colored flowers in mid summer persist into fall; ideal for an herb garden, or containers.

Edible Qualities

Society Garlic is an annual herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The entire above-ground parts of the plant are edible, and are usually harvested from early summer to early fall. The edible parts have a mild taste and a distinctive fragrance.

The plant is most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Cooking

Planting & Growing

Society Garlic will grow to be about 16 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 12 inches apart. Although it's not a true annual, this plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Society Garlic is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It can be used either as 'filler' or as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, depending on the height and form of the other plants used in the container planting. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Herb  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.