Can You Describe The Fragrance Of Society Garlic For Me? - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by dkdubin
April 21, 2004
I am interested in planting Society Garlic How does it smell? Could it be construed as Dog feces Odor?

Answer from NGA
April 21, 2004
Tulbaghia Violacea is the Society Garlic. Despite its name and distinctive garlicky smell, society garlic is not really garlic at all. Although like garlic it is a member of the lily (Alliaceae) family it is not an allium and is actually more closely related to the narcissus flower.

Society garlic reputedly got its name from a belief that it could be eaten without producing the unfortunate side-effect of garlic bad breath. As such it was a form of garlic that was acceptable in "polite society". However many modern nutritionists advise against eating society garlic as it can cause stomach problems. Our advice: play safe and don't eat it.

Society garlic does however make a good ornamental plant. The leaves are long, thin and evergreen and it has attractive purple flowers. Perhaps most importantly, it gives off a gorgeous garlicky aroma. (I've never heard it referred to as a dog feces odor - but to each his own!)

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