These scented plants are prolific during the Summer months in Steenbok Nature Reserve. They grow from fat and tuberous roots. The leaves are long, narrow, strap-like and slightly fleshy, smelling of garlic when bruised. The flowers sit high above the leaves on a tall stalk. There can be up to 20 flowers clustered into one single umbel and these flowers smell of garlic too when picked. After flowering, the triangular fruit capsules dry out and release black seeds.
Tulbaghia is named after Ryk Tulbagh (died 1771), governor of the Cape of Good Hope, and violacea means violet-coloured.
Traditionally used for fever and colds, asthma and tuberculosis. Decoctions are also administered as an enema.