Tulbaghia violacea

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society garlic
Tulbaghia (Society Garlic).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Tulbaghia
Species: T. violacea
Binomial name
Tulbaghia violacea
Tulbaghia violacea

Tulbaghia violacea, also known as society garlic or pink agapanthus, is a species of flowering plant in the onion family Alliaceae, indigenous to southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Province), and reportedly naturalized in Tanzania and Mexico.[1]

Growing to 60 cm (24 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) wide, it is a clump-forming perennial with narrow leaves and large clusters of fragrant, violet flowers from midsummer to autumn (fall).[2][3]

When grown as an ornamental, this plant requires some protection from winter frosts. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]

Medicinal uses[edit]

T. violacea is used locally as a herbal remedy/medicine to treat several ailments. Recently it was demonstrated to have androgenic[5] and anti-cancer[6] properties in vitro.

T. violacea exhibited antithrombotic activities which were higher than those found in garlic.[7]


  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  3. ^ Harvey, William Henry 1837. Botanical Magazine 64: t. 3555.
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Tulbaghia violacea". Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Mozaffar Ebrahim & Edmund John Pool (2010). "The effect of Tulbaghia violacea extracts on testosterone secretion by testicular cell cultures". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 132 (1): 359–361. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.08.018. PMID 20723589. 
  6. ^ S. Thamburan, F. February, M. Meyer, J. Rees & Q. Johnson (2009). "Tulbaghia alliacea: A potential anti-cancer phytotherapy". Planta Medica. 75 (9): SL35. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1234290. 
  7. ^ Lelethu Bungu, Maryna van de Venter & Carminita Frost (2008). "Evidence for an in vitro anticoagulant and antithrombotic activity in Tulbaghia violacea" (PDF). African Journal of Biotechnology. 7 (6): 681–688. 

External links[edit]