Botanical name: Tulbaghia violacea
How to grow it: Right up there with the easiest of edible plants to grow. Will tolerate almost any conditions – I guess if there was one thing it would be full sun for best production. It may not handle colder climates with heavy frosts.
It’s pretty as an ornamental as it will flower quite prolifically for a large part of the year. Makes a great border plant as once it’s established if forms a rock-solid weed barrier.
Easily propagated by division in spring or autumn. Grows very well in containers, but you may need to thin it every couple of years as it’s liable to get potbound
Medicinal uses: High in vitamins A, B & C, Society garlic is being studied for it’s antiviral properties and potentially for raising testorone levels . Thought to stimulate appetite.
Using it in the kitchen: Up until fairly recently, I would usually choose Garlic chives in preference to Society garlic – thinking that the leaves were more tender & the flavour more subtle. This is true, but I’ve come to love Society garlic’s much stronger garlic flavour – which according to the literature, doesn’t stay on your breath (apparently making you more sociable – thus the name!)
I love it chopped finely and added to salads, and to just about any cooked vegetable. Try using both the white & green parts
Try it with mashed potatoes or sour cream & I swear you’ll never turn back to chives!
Fantastic survival plant as it’s ornamental, incredibly hardy, and can so easily be used in the kitchen.