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Society Garlic Flowers
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Society Garlic is an herbaceous perennial that grows in clumps and spreads horizontally by way of underground rhizomes. It reaches heights of approximately 60 centimeters with a single flowering stalk that grows out of 4 to 9 grass-like leaves. At the top of the central, round-stemmed stalk (called a scape) sits an umbel shaped blossom which consists of 8 to 20 tiny individual star-shaped flowers. The lavender colored flowers of Society Garlic are mild and sweet smelling, but have the unmistakable peppery bite of garlic with a subtle soft texture.
Society Garlic flowers are available year-round with peak season summer through fall.
Society Garlic flowers are botanically named Tulbaghia violacea and sometimes referred to as Pink agapanthus, though the species name "violacea" comes from the Latin for "violet". There are more than twenty species of Tulbaghia in the plant’s native home of South Africa with some debate as to whether these plants should be classified in the Amaryllidaceae family or in the Alliaceae family, along with the onions and garlics. The name “Society Garlic” was given to the plant by early Dutch colonizers who found that its mild garlic flavor didn’t linger on one’s breath therefore making it more appropriate for consumption at high society gatherings.
All members of the Allium family contain quercetin which can fight heart disease and cancer. They also have naturally occurring antibiotic properties and have long been used to aid in digestion, fight off colds and boost the immune system.
The flowers and leaves of Society Garlic are both edible and may be used similarly to other herbaceous chive varieties. The sweet yet peppery note of the blossoms themselves add subtle garlicky flavor without overpowering delicate dishes. Use the flowers to flavor vinegars, bread and pasta dough, light broths and compound butters. Pair them with fresh herbs, cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, crème fraiche, potatoes, mushrooms, noodles, seafood, egg dishes and green salads.
In Asia and Europe, this plant is used medicinally for treating asthma, rheumatic pain, high blood pressure and digestive problems. The African Zulu people use Society Garlic medicinally to treat sinus headaches, colds, coughs, pulmonary tuberculosis and intestinal worms.
The Society Garlic plant is native to the Eastern Cape region in South Africa, specifically Natal and Transvaal where it grows in rocky grasslands. It is a drought-tolerant evergreen plant that can tolerate light freezes, but goes dormant during the winter months in colder climates. Flower production is most prolific where sunlight is plentiful and soils are well drained with occasional rainfall.
Recipes that include Society Garlic Flowers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Kitchn||Egg, Arugula, and Chive Blossom Tartine|
|Our Permaculture Life||Society Garlic and Coriander Pesto Dip|
Someone shared Society Garlic Flowers using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Romeo ColemanNear Santa Monica, California, United States
About 96 days ago, 7/21/21