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The Nursery

Landscape & Garden Center


Bulbine is a genus of plants in the family Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Asphodeloideae,named for the bulb-shaped tuber shown by many of the species. Formerly it was placed in the Liliaceae. Bulbine is found chiefly in Southern Africa, with few species extending into tropical Africa and a few species in Australia.


Bulbine is characterised by having flowers borne in lax or compound racemes, and by being succulent.The flowers are mostly yellow, with bearded stamens, although sometimes white, orange or pink.Several species are grown in gardens, although the most common species in the horticultural trade is B. frutescens.Species of Bulbine resemble Haworthia and Aloe in appearance, but with soft fleshy leaves, many with tuberous roots or a caudex. The various species grow as shrubs, rough tough weedy perennials, dwarf geophytes, and soft annuals. Many of the dwarf species have small, dome-shaped tubers.


Dormancy starts in late spring and lasts until mid autumn, but can vary between species and in different conditions. Leaves die and drop and the roots contract into the caudex leaving no visible sign of life on the surface. Propagation is mostly by seed although cuttings are possible as some species will form multiple heads or offsets.