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A picture of a Society Garlic

Society Garlic

Tulbaghia violacea

Also known as

Wild Garlic

Photo by Sisibee (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Society Garlic

A photo of Society Garlic
A photo of Society Garlic
A photo of Society Garlic
A photo of Society Garlic
A photo of Society Garlic

Society Garlic Overview

Wild garlic is a popular, low-growing water-wise garden plant that is perfect for those sunny spots in the garden. Ideal for the herb garden, both the leaves and flowers are edible and often used to flavour salads with a garlicky taste. With their evergreen, strappy leaves and umbels of purple flowers in summer, they are perfect for planting along pathways or as edging plants and makes for a beautiful scene planted en masse as a groundcover. Wild garlic can tolerate a wide range of soil types​, such as nutrient-poor soils, but will thrive in well-draining, compost-rich soils. Although drought-tolerant, these plants thrive with regular watering. They enjoy a position in full sun but are able to tolerate some shade. They multiply easily and using their tuberous roots, they spread to form clumps of plants. The beautiful flower clusters are carried above 0.5 m stems and bloom for a long period in summer. The leaves have a strong garlicky scent when crushed or torn and have been used in traditional medicine to cure headaches caused by sinus. Due to their strong smell, wild garlic is often planted to deter moles and snakes from the garden. The crushed leaves can also be applied to the skin to deter fleas and mosquitoes (and humans).

Common problems with Society Garlic

They're rarely bothered by pests and diseases.

    Society Garlic Companion Plants

    A photo of Stalked Bulbine

    Stalked Bulbine

    Bulbine frutescens

    How to harvest Society Garlic

    Pick leaves and flowers as needed.

    How to propagate Society Garlic


    Sow seeds in deep trays and transplant outside in their second year. Sow seeds 3-7 cm deep and 25 cm apart.


    Divide the clumps and plant them outside. Leave undisturbed for as long as possible after planting, without moving them.

    Special features of Society Garlic

    Drought resistant

    Drought resistant but flourishes when watered thoroughly.

    Repels harmful insects

    The smell repels fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes when crushed on the skin.

    Attracts butterflies

    Attractive flowers

    Pot plant

    Attracts bees

    Ground cover

    Makes for a beautiful ground cover when planted en masse.

    Other uses of Society Garlic

    Ground cover, border


    Leaves are used for sinus headaches and to treat esophageal cancer. A decoction of fresh bulbs is taken for coughs and colds. The bulb has been used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis


    The leaves and flowers are edible, with a peppery, garlic-like flavour. They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked.

    Perennials | Indigenous

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