Bulbine abyssinica has linear fleshy leaves that form a basal rosette. It is mainly flowering in summer, although there are some flowers throughout the year in cultivation.
Ideal as a rockery or bedding plant in well-drained soil in full sun. The plant stays compact and does not spread. In cold areas the leaves might die back in winter but it is pushed aside when the new leaves emerge in spring.
The combination of Bulbine abyssinica and Felicia amelloides makes a stunning display for most of the year.
Distribution and habitat
Bulbine abyssinica occurs from the Eastern Cape, through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Lesotho, Free State, North-West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and further north to Ethiopia. It favours rocky grassland and shallow soil overlying rock, but can also be found in woodland and along seepage areas. It frequently forms small colonies.
Owing to its wide distribution, this species is suitable for cultivation throughout the summer rainfall region. It is both frost and drought tolerant and can cope with a wide range of temperatures. In dry, hot years, plants tend to be smaller and have fewer inflorescences than in years of good rainfall. (Source: PlantzAfrica)
Growing Bulbine abyssinica
For the best effect, plant Bushy Bulbines in full sun together with other hardy, drought tolerant plants. Although it can tolerate regular watering, it does not require it. A good humus-rich soil will ensure healthy plants that grow fast and flower profusely. Mulch regularly or cover the bed with pebbles. This will prevent unnecessary water loss from the soil and thus contribute to the principles of water-wise gardening. (Source: PlantzAfrica)
Ecology and Human Uses
This species is insect pollinated and is frequently visited by bees. Bulbine abyssinica is often used in traditional medicine to treat dysentery, bilharzia and cracked lips.