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BULBINE frutescens

Image of Bulbine frutescens

Felder Rushing

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

BULBINE frutescens

Plant Common Name

Bulbine, Cat's Whiskers, Rankkopieva

General Description

Bulbine is a tough, evergreen perennial native to South Africa. It is a low-growing plant, which spreads slowly by underground stems to form large clumps. Its dense leaves are round and juicy and reminiscent of chives. Bulbine bears many tall, leafless flower stalks above the foliage that look somewhat like cat whiskers. These are topped with spikes of small, star-shaped, yellow flowers with masses of stamens. Blooms appear throughout the year in warm climates, but are most plentiful spring through fall.

Plant bulbine in well-drained soils and full sun. It will stand partial shade, but will elongate and have fewer flowers in diminished light. Bulbine is very drought tolerant and excels in rather dry locations. However, foliage integrity and flowering is better when the plant receives an occasional watering during very dry or hot summer weather. Remove spent flower stalks to encourage reblooming. Every two to three years, divide the clumps to thin the planting and for propagation. Bulbine is a good choice for water-conservation, desert and rock gardens. Cultivar 'Hallmark' displays bicolor orange and yellow flowers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    24"-26" / 61.0cm - 66.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes