Tulbaghia violacea grows in the Little Karoo, the Eastern Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal.
The plant is used in various ways by indigenous people. The Zulus plant it around huts to keep snakes away; the strong garlic scent probably does this job. The rhizome is also used by some Zulus in love potions. The leaves are used as a condiment when cooking meat and potatoes and in preparing a spinach dish.
The leaves have also found various medicinal uses including the treatment of coughs, colds, flu, tuberculosis and oesophageal cancer. Both the rhizomes and leaves are reported to contribute in the treatment of asthma, fever and constipation (Margaret Roberts, 1990; Van Wyk and Gericke, 2000).