The description of a particular grassland plant being common on overgrazed range-land made me realise I had hit the jackpot in identifying these canary-yellow flowers growing on a neglected triangle of ground – where the once regularly mowed lawn has long since been replaced by wild grass, on the overgrazed patch of lawn below our house, and along neglected pavements in the suburbs.

The Bulbine narcissifolia is also known as the Strap-leaved Bulbine, doubtless after its loosely twisted, strap-like grey-green leaves. As you can tell from the photograph below, flowers are star-shaped with bearded stamens and mature from the bottom of the inflorescence. The open flowers are pollinated by insects.

The stalks reach up to 500mm, making the flowers conspicuous during their summer flowering season. Fortunately, they are drought tolerant and so bring joy during these dry times!


    • It is another beauty that tends to be underrated here – although I note that some indigenous nurseries now stock them. At the moment they are brightening our open veld.


  1. Thank you for educating me about these. I’d bought a couple of plants from a local nursery years ago and had no idea they are such tough little survivors or indeed, a species that thrives where little else grows!
    Mine have been pampered and overwatered all this time. I guess the fleshy leaves should have been a give away as to their resilient nature!
    I love them and they have spread readily, unaided, in my garden.
    I’ll not be so generous with them henceforth.


    • I am so pleased to know you have planted some in your garden! I admit to being tempted to dig up a bulb or two from the neglected area where some of these grow to transplant into ours! It would be good to see them growing closer together and, in our drought conditions, it would be marvellous to get some colour without being dependent on rain!


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