Bulbinella latifolia

Scientific name: Bulbinella latifolia (B. floribunda)

Author:  Karl(Carl) Sigismund Kunth (1788-1850)

Common name: Geelkatstert, Cat's Tail

Family: Asphodelaceae (Liliaceae)




Plenty of winter colour is on display in the African section of the Rock Garden. On the Visitors Map this area is adjacent to the Brunet Meadow and below the Proteaceae section of the Garden.

Our feature plant came to us in 1989 as seed of Bulbinella floribunda, now a synonym of Bulbinella latifolia. With the renovation of this garden bed it has greater access to light and its charm is now obvious. 

Winter to spring flowering and deciduous in summer, bulbinellas relish good drainage and plenty of water during their growing period in the colder months. Come summer, dry conditions are required to prevent the fleshy tubers from rotting.

If bulbinellas remind you of Red Hot Pokers, kniphofias, and you can see similarity of form in the aloes as well, then it is the plant family characteristics that you have connected with as they all belong in Asphodelaceae.

Nearby, leucadendrons have deepened their leaf colour and Erica cerinthoides is covered in flame-coloured blossom. Aloes add fiery touches too, and high above, Protea aurea subspecies potbergensis is a mass of angular cream flowers. The spire with spent-flowers, centre-stage, belongs to a giant lobelia.