Plant Description

Bulbine frutescens

Bulbine frutescens

This succulent perennial plant (ht 40 cm) grows in wide clumps with fleshy leaves and has dainty spires of yellow starry flowers mainly in spring but also at other times during the year. The linear leaves have a jelly-like juice that can apparently be used for burns, rashes, cracked skin and other dermatological ailments. It is a most obliging plant in the garden, growing in sun or part-shade. It needs frost protection. It hails from Africa and is a good groundcover plant for dry parts of the garden. In my experience, it multiplies rapidly. It is very easily propagated from division of the clump. It looks effective with blue flowers in spring, or lime-coloured leaves. In spring, my plants combine well with the chartreuse heads of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii, the harlequin red, yellow and orange trumpets of Justicia rizzinii and the golden leaves of Sedum mexicanum, or intertwined with the brilliant blooms of nasturtiums.The genus Bulbine belongs to the family Xanthorrhoeaceae, which includes genera such as Asphodelus, Dianella, Hemerocallis, Kniphofia and Phormium.

Note that the native leek (Bulbine bulbosa) is regarded as a toxic plant, as it can poison cattle.


Bulbine frutescens
Out now in my Sydney garden.
Flowers from September to October.
Plant Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

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