Tulbaghia species are often called the wild garlics that are native to Africa with most coming from Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is a small genus of about 20 species and one of the only two genera (the other being the monotypic genus Prototulbaghia) in the Tulbaghieae Tribe within the onion subfamily Allioideae in the Amaryllidaceae family. They are monocotyledonous deciduous or evergreen perennials that arise from a bulb or rhizomatous rootstock. They often have an onion or garlic fragrance when bruised, which has led to the common name. They have straplike leaves and flowers with six narrow tepals that are often nodding in umbels subtended by two bracts on naked long peduncles. The tubular or trumpet shaped white, green or purplish flowers and characteristic of the genus, in the center of the flower is "corona", which is a raised crown-like structure that is often small and scale-like but can be larger and comparable to the trumpet in the center of a small narcissus flower. The flowers are often scented at night and several, such as Tulbaghia simmleri and T. violacea are also fragrant during the day.
Linnaeus named the genus name to honors Rijk Tulbagh (1699-1771), the Dutch Governor of the Dutch Cape of Good Hope, South Africa from 1751 until 1771.
We grow or have grown the following Tulbaghias:
Tulbaghia 'Himba'- no longer in production
Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba'
Tulbaghia violacea - no longer in production
Tulbaghia violacea 'Edinburgh'
Tulbaghia violacea 'Emerisa White'
Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde'
Tulbaghia violacea 'Savannah Lightning'
Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace'- no longer in production