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Family: Amaryllidaceae

Original habitat: the southern and tropical regions of Africa

Flower colour: Primarily pink; foliage and flower stem sometimes white

Flowering period: late spring to early

Height: to 50 centimetres

Planting depth: 2 - 5 centimetres

Planting distance: 15 - 30 centimetres

Type of bulb: corm

Light requirements: Full sun

Applications: Can be planted in sunny borders in warmer regions; where frost can occur, use them in sun lounges. These are summer-flowering plants that are not winter hardy.

This plant was named after Ryk Tulbagh, a Dutch governor on the Cape of Good Hope who died in 1771. The Tulbaghia genus is not very large and has no more than 20 different species. Common names for the more familiar species are Wild Garlic, Society Garlic, Sweet Garlic and Pink Agapanthus. In days gone by, the Tulbaghia was used in baths for people suffering from rheumatism, and its leaves were used to brew a tea.

Various species

  • Tulbaghia acutiloba: This plant grows to a height of 30 centimetres and bears 2 to 6 flowers on stems up to 15 centimetres tall. The flower is a greenish colour and 1 centimetre in length.
  • Tulbaghia alliacea: Its leaves emerge during the winter and are followed by the stem that can grow to a height of 30 to 35 centimetres. The flowers that appear in May have a pleasant fragrance at night, but the leaves smell like garlic.

Planting tips

These plants do not require much water except when they are in flower. Neither do they require much fertilising, the only exceptions being perennialised plants that are starting their growth period. The Tulbaghia flowers in the summer.

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