SOCIETY GARLIC (Tulbaghia violacea)
This attractive and useful plant can be found in the scientific and medicinal gardens at Mound House. It comes to us from South Africa. A favorite food and medicine of the Zulu, society garlic was cultivated by Dutch colonists as far back as the 1600’s. The genus name “Tulbaghia” is in honor of Ryk Tulbagh, a governor of the Cape of Good Hope back in the 1700s. “Violacea” comes from the violet like blossom. From the Dutch colonists of South Africa, society garlic found its way into the Dutch possessions of the Caribbean and ultimately, here to Florida. The flowers and leaves are eaten raw or added to salads and other dishes. The bulbs are primarily used for medicinal purposes such as treating intestinal, stomach disorders, and joint pain. The name “society garlic” comes from the Dutch practice of serving this less potent and more polite variety of garlic at social functions!