Two tulbaghias

tulbaghia violacea

The south African tulbaghias have a lot of features I like in a plant. They are a bit unusual, have fragrant flowers (with the sting in the tail that the leaves are pongy when crushed – of garlic would you believe) and they are generally tender so not too simple to grow. Closely related to alliums (onions) the most obvious difference is that there is a rudimentary ‘trumpet’ in the centre of the flowers as though they are trying to be daffodils. Of course they are not the only ones to do this and the brodiaeas and their ilk from North America do a similar thing. Those I have grown have pungent, fleshy roots and narrow, almost grassy leaves that are slimy when squashed. The flower scapes are usually longer than the leaves and there can be a few or many flowers in an umbel.

By far the most common is T. violacea which is hardy in light soils in the UK and a very pretty plant. I saw it blooming its heart out at Mount Congreve in Waterford and my plants have survived in the greenhouse. About ten years ago I did some pollen daubing with this species, its white form, T. simmleri and T. acutiloba and the seedlings flowered in their second or third year and were all pretty and a couple seemed good enough to think about naming. A few have survived and I will have to look after them to see if they have stood the test of time. One advantage they had was that they did not set loads of seed which may cause the species to be a problem in warm climates. Tulbaghia simmleri is a more delicate creature and very pretty. They all seem easy enough in cold climates if they are kept dry in winter when they will take a little frost. ‘Silver Lace’ is a variegated form of T. violacea and is a very attractive plant for pots.

tulbaghia violacea2

I was delighted to see that T. acutiloba has also pulled through and although it is not exactly showy with its greenish petals and orange cup, it is interesting and, like most of the others, fragrant.

tulbaghia acutiloba copy

 

 

 

, , , ,

3 Comments on “Two tulbaghias”

  1. Mary Tobin
    August 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    I have found Tulbaghia violacea seeds everywhere and has been hard to keep in check. It maybe the mild climate here in Waterford that they like.

    • thebikinggardener
      August 26, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

      I am sure that is the case – as i say it was flourishing by the greenhouse at Mount Congreve. There are worse weeds I suppose – but it depends what it is seeding amongst.

  2. Elizabeth
    September 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Keep a few seedlings for me please Mary!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

IGPS Blog

The Irish Garden Plant Society - Lovers of Irish plants and gardens

AltroVerde

un altro blog sul giardinaggio...

vegetablurb

four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!

The Tropical Flowering Zone

Photographic Journals from the Tropics

Flowery Prose

Growing words about writing, gardening, and outdoors pursuits in Alberta, Canada.

ontheedgegardening

Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I am a freelance Photographer born and raised in the Southeast. I have uprooted my life in Macon Georgia for a new life as an unlikely cowgirl in love with a handsome cowboy in Wyoming. I hope you enjoy my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

The world's leading garden plant conservation charity

HERITAGE IRISES

An English experience of gardening in Ireland - and back in the UK

%d bloggers like this: