Bulbine Frutescens (The Stalked Bulbine)

Bulbine Frutescens Image

The Stalked Bulbine, or Bulbine Frutescens, is a plant from South Africa that’s not only pretty but also has some useful medicinal qualities. People call it by different names like ‘Bulbinella,’ ‘Cat’s Tail,’ or ‘Burn Jelly Plant.’ It’s tough, easy to take care of, and shows off beautiful flowers. Besides that, it’s been used in traditional medicine for a long time, and scientists are interested in studying its potential for modern medicine.

Physical Characterization

The Stalked Bulbine is a type of succulent with thick, aloe-like leaves that are light green. Inside these leaves, there’s a gooey, jelly-like substance similar to what you find in Aloe Vera plants. This plant, called Bulbine Frutescens, grows in clumps and makes dense mats, usually reaching about 15 inches in height.

Plant Physical Part of Bulbine Frutescens Image

But, the real show of the Stalked Bulbine happens when its tall flower stems start to bloom. These thin stems stand high above the leaves, up to 2 feet. At the top of these stems, you’ll find bright, star-shaped flowers. These flowers come in pretty colors like yellow or orange and usually show up in spring and fall, bringing some lively colors to the garden when other plants might not be doing much.

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Cultivation and Care

Temperatures: The Bulbine Frutescens love a warm place like in South Africa. The plant is happiest when it’s between 10°C and 30°C, which is also the nice weather most people enjoy. It can handle a bit cooler sometimes, but it doesn’t like it too cold for too long. Bulbine Frutescens flourishes in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11.

Light: Bulbine Frutescens likes a lot of sunlight, especially direct sunlight, for most of the day. The more sunlight it gets, the healthier and better it grows. However, please do not let it stay under harsh and scorching sunlight for a long period. If you’re growing it indoors, put it near a window or use a growing light.

Soil: As a succulent, the Stalked Bulbine thrives in well-drained soil that lets water flow through easily. If you’re planting Bulbine Frutescens in a pot or container, you can use a mix specially made for succulents or cacti. These mixes usually have the right kind of drainage.

Watering: During the growing season, watering it occasionally helps keep it looking fresh and vibrant. The watering should be done sincerely but infrequently to prevent waterlogging, which could lead to root rot. In dormant seasons, don’t water it too often as you do in the growing season. Instead, you should rarely water it, about once a month or even longer. However, you should consider your succulent health to decide the best time to water it.

Fertilizer: Regarding feeding, the Stalked Bulbine is not a heavy feeder. Applying a slow-release, balanced fertilizer during spring will help the plant thrive. Pruning should be performed after flowering to keep the plant compact and to stimulate new growth.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Medicinal Applications

The Stalked Bulbine is known for being a helpful plant in traditional South African medicine. The gooey stuff from its leaves is used to heal different skin problems like burns, cuts, rashes, blisters, bug bites, chapped lips, and cold sores. It’s like a natural cure for sunburn too, which is why some people call it the ‘Burn Jelly Plant.’

Bulbine Frutescens is not only helpful for skin issues but might also be good for other things like eczema and arthritis. Some folks are checking if it can help with acne, too. Modern doctors and scientists are looking into this plant because it seems like it could have a bright future in medicine.

Ecological Impact

Apart from looking pretty and having healing qualities, the Stalked Bulbine is important for the environment. Its bright flowers are like a sweet treat for bees, butterflies, and other insects that help plants make more plants. When you plant Bulbine Frutescens in your garden, you’re helping these helpful bugs by giving them a tasty place to visit.


The Stalked Bulbine is like a perfect mix of beauty and usefulness from nature. It looks fantastic, can handle tough situations, and can even help with healing. Whether you just like having cool plants in your garden, are into traditional healing or love studying how plants can help us, the Stalked Bulbine is worth checking out and enjoying.

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Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents