Alliaceae – Tulbaghia -Tulbaghia violaceae


Onion family

Alliaceae includes 19 genena of usually bulbous perennial herbs, which  are widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions. This group is closely related to the amaryllis family.

Amaryllidaceae. It includes pungent culinary herbs such as onions, garlic, chives, shallots and leeks. The characteristic aroma emanates from sulfur compounds. Several species are grown for their ornamental flowers as well. Leaves are narrowly strap – shaped to linear. Flowers are funnel – shaped, will petals fused in to a tube at the base. They are clustered in umbels and subtended by a dry, spathelike brack and borne at the end of a leafless stalk.


Tulbaghia includes approximately 22 tropical on Southern African herbs. The genus is distinguished from other genera in the family by having rhizomes instead of bulbs. Flowers have 6 petals and are radially symmetrical with a corona in the throat. They are in small clusters at the end of an erect scape. These species are often grown as a ground cover in dry regions. They are suitable for containers.

Tulbaghia violaceae

Society garlic, sweet garlic

Ajo ornamental

Northeastern South Africa. Evergreen or seasonally dormant herbs to 2 ft, zones 7-10. Blooms warm months. Moderate moisture, dry when dormant. Fertile, well – drained soil. Full to part sun. Flowers: small, funnel – shaped, leavender, on a scape to 2 ft.tall, sweet – scented. leaves: Unear, to 12 in.high, gray – green, garlic – scented, some selections cream – striped. These dainty, grasslike mounding plants thrive in dry climates such as California. Young shoots are sometimes used like garlic chives in food. Plants become dormant in cold or dry conditions.

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