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Products > Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde'
Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde' - Golden Society Garlic
Image of Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Alliaceae (~Amaryllidaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Tulbaghia violacea 'Gold Stripe']
Height: 1-3 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde' (Golden Society Garlic) - A clumping evergreen perennial with fat, tuberous roots from which emerge flexible grass-like 1 foot long by 1/4 inch wide green leaves with chartreuse to golden yellow bands along the leaf margins that have a strong garlic-like odor on warm days and when bruised by touching or from frost. From spring into fall, and sometimes longer in frost free areas, arise slender stalks to 18 to 24 inches high topped by an umbel of about 10 to 20 small lavender flowers.

Plant in full sun to light shade with occasional to regular irrigation - somewhat drought tolerant but always looks better with more regular watering. Hardy and evergreen to around 23F but reportedly root hardy to around 0F and so useful in USDA Zone 7 and above. This plant makes a nice low border plant or for the edge of the lawn, a pond or even in shallow water but one must keep in mind the smell when they decide where to plant, as it can be fairly strong at times and some find it objectionable. This smell is also noted to keep animals (cats, dogs, deer away and perhaps even snails and slugs) but it is wise to use rubber gloves when deadheading and resist the temptation to use the flowers indoors for flower arrangements. The leaves and flowers can however be used raw or cooked in food preparation.

Tulbaghia violacea comes from southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Province) where it grows along forest margins and stream banks, and it was used for food and medicine by the indigenous Zulu tribes. The genus was named to honor Ryk Tulbagh (1699-1771) an early governor of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and the specific epithet means violet-like in reference to the color of the flowers.

We purchased this plant labeled 'Gold Stripe' at a southern California retail nursery in 2016 but traced it back to back to a plant West Covina Nurseries in La Vern California had found growing within a block of Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace' at their La Vern nursery yard and they were calling it Tulbaghia violacea 'Oro Verde', which we think describes the foliage color of this plant quite. We thank Joe Brosius of Magic Growers in Pasadena, California, Blair Haynes of Shinglehouse Nursery in Coos Bay, Oregon and Doug Zylstra at West Covina Nurseries in Santa Barbara, California for helping us unravel the story of this plant's origin.

We also grow several other Tulbaghia violacea cultivars including Tulbaghia violacea 'Edinburgh', Tulbaghia violacea 'Blanca', Tulbaghia violacea 'Emerisa White', Tulbaghia violacea Purpleicious ['Hinetul1'], 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 violacea 'Oro Verde' 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.