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Products > Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba'
Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba' - White Sweet Garlic
Image of Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Alliaceae (~Amaryllidaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [Tulbaghia fragrans 'Alba']
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba' (Sweet Garlic) - An evergreen perennial with a bulblike rootstock that forms 1-2 foot tall and wide clumps of grey-green flate agapanthus like agapanthus like foliage and fragrant lavender-pink white flowers composed of 6 tepals with a crown in the center that are held in umbels on top of 1-2 foot tall erect stems in late winter and early spring as foliage is re-emerging and often lasting into summer with some rebloom in the fall and early winter.

Plant in full coastal sun in a well-drained soil and best if watered regularly late spring and summer. Dislikes went winter conditions and struggles a bit with dry summers but can survive with minimal summer irrigation. The deciduous crown is hardy to frosts and short duration temperatures down to around 20 F, but even a light frost will knock down the flowering stems. Unlike other commonly grown Tulbaghia this one is a great for the vase with flowers that can perfume a whole house. Since it is deciduous, it is best interplanted with evergreen perennials, grasses or sedges.

The typical pink flowering Tulbaghia simmleri is found growing naturally in the northern Drakensberg Mountains of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, where it occurs on rocky ledges or in light humid mountain forests from 3,100 to 3,700 feet in altitudes. The genus was named to honor Ryk Tulbagh (1699-1771) the early governor of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. This speciic epithet honors Paul Simmler, the chief gardener of the Boissier Collections in Geneva, who cultivated the specimens collected in the Transvaal, though this plant has long been in cultivation as as Tulbaghia fragrans and also has been known as T. pulchella and T. daviesii. In South Africa it is commonly known as Blommetjie and also has the English common names Sweet Wild Garlic, Frangrant Tulbaghia and Pink Agapanthus.

We first got this plant from the Huntington Botanic Garden where there are large patches of both the white and pink forms of this species growing on the south facing slopes in their Subtropical Garden. We first grew this plant from 1989 until 2004 and rebuilt stock to offer it once again.

We also grow the pink Tulbaghia simmleri as well as several Tulbaghia violacea cultivars including Tulbaghia violacea 'Edinburgh', Tulbaghia violacea 'Blanca', Tulbaghia violacea Purpleicious ['Hinetul1'], Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde', Tulbaghia violacea 'Emerisa White', Tulbaghia violacea 'Savannah Lightning' as well as Tulbaghia simmleri (AKA T. fragrans), Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba' and the hybrids Tulbaghia 'Ashanti', Tulbaghia 'Cosmic', Tulbaghia 'Flamingo', Tulbaghia 'Fairy Pink' and Tulbaghia 'Himba'

This information about Tulbaghia simmleri 'Alba' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.