Bulbine frutescens

  • Aloe-like leaves;
  • May not survive harsh winter unless protected
  • Not recommended for rain gardens
  • Trim off bloom stalks as they decline

This fast growing plant has narrow fleshy bright green leaves which grow in open rosettes. In bloom, plants reach 2 feet. It blooms from early spring to summer and on into fall. Note that in hot interior climates it takes a rest during the warmest months before coming back in fall. The star-shaped flowers are borne on spikes. The petals are yellow to orange with fluffy yellow stamens that give the flowers a bi-colored look.

Like Aloe Vera, Bulbine frutescens contains glycoproteins which have give it similar healing properties. The fresh leaf produces a jelly-like juice that is helpful for burns, rashes, blisters, insect bites, cracked lips, acne, cold sores, mouth ulcers and areas of cracked skin. This plant is ideal to grow and is a useful first-aid remedy for children’s’ daily knocks and scrapes. The Rastafarians make an infusion of a few fresh leaves in a cup of boiling water and after straining drink it for coughs, colds and arthritis.

Common Names: Bulbine, Cape Balsam, Jelly Burn Plant, Snake Flower, Cat’s Tail, Geelkatstet