Wild garlic or Tulbaghia violacea is a evergreen perennial
It is a fast-growing, bulbous plant that reaches a height of 0.5 m. The leaves are long, narrow, strap-like, slightly fleshy and smell strongly of garlic when bruised.
They grow from fat, tuberous roots which spread to form clumps of plants. The pinkish-mauve tubular flowers, clustered into umbels of up to 20 flowers, are held above the leaves on a tall flower stalk, and appear over a long period in summer (January to April). They too smell of garlic when picked.
The fruit, triangular capsules, are grouped into a head, and when ripe they split to release the flattened, hard black seeds.
Wild garlic grows very easily in most soils. It can be used as an edging plant, along a pathway, and displayed to great advantage in a rockery. It can also be mass planted to form a ground cover in sunny or partially shaded positions.
Ideal for water wise gardens
It thrives in well-drained soil containing plenty of compost.Propagate from seed or by dividing larger clumps. The hard black seeds are best sown in spring in deep seed trays and can be planted out during their second year. Once the clumps that have been divided are planted, they should be left undisturbed for as long as possible. First flowering can generally be expected in the second or third year.
Tulbaghias seldom fall prey to pests and diseases, but slugs and snails can cause considerable damage to the foliage.
Wild garlic is ideal for the herb garden, as both the leaves and flowers can be used in salads and other dishes. The crushed leaves may be used to help cure sinus headaches and to discourage moles from the garden (by their strong smell). The smell repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes when crushed on the skin.