Tulbaghia violacea – ‘Society Garlic’ — Society Garlic, A Very Versatile – Drought Tolerant Blooming Plant
The Tulbaghia violacea is a grass-like blooming drought tolerant plant — although not a true grass, it is a popular perennial with bluish-green grass-like foliage with clusters of lavender flowers which bloom throughout the year. It belongs to the Alliacea family of herbs similar to Garlic. It is sometimes referred to by the common name ‘Society Garlic’ due to a garlic odor that is released if the leaves are bruised.
To say that Society Garlic, aka ‘Sweet Garlic’, is versatile as a landscape plant would be an extreme understatement. This drought tolerant grass look-a-like can handle the dry conditions of a rarely watered container plant in Southern California to being used as a pond-edge plant in shallow water.
Originating from Africa,interestingly, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that this plant has been grown and used historically as an herb to treat some infectious diseases, due to the reported anti-microbial potential of the herb.
This durable grass-like plant is cold-hardy down to 20–25˚F with medium water needs. It grows from 1–3 feet in height and 1–2 feet in width. Though it can been grown in shade, it does best in full-sun with moderate watering.