Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Yellow Bulbine, Orange Bulbine
Bulbine frutescens 'Tiny Tangerine'

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bulbine (BUL-bin-ee) (Info)
Species: frutescens (froo-TESS-enz) (Info)
Cultivar: Tiny Tangerine

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nikesamothrace On Apr 29, 2014, nikesamothrace from Houston, TX wrote:

Does very well in Houston, Texas

Positive jeather On Nov 30, 2013, jeather from Latimer, MS wrote:

This is a wonderful little plant. I got a couple on a clearance rack and threw them in an empty corner of the garden. To say they thrived would be an understatement. A cold winter in zone 8B with overnight temperatures in the low 20's didn't phase them. They bloom basically from last frost to first frost, bees seem to adore them, and they tolerate neglect and poor soil just beautifully. I botched an attempt to divide one of the plants, and the new plant (with almost no roots) somehow survived and is doing just fine. I love a plant that's hard to kill!

Positive neverlandnow On Feb 8, 2012, neverlandnow from Meiners Oaks, CA wrote:

A plant that can survive down to 20 degrees in my book is a pretty hardy plant. A wise gardener knows that everyone's micro-climate is different. Temperature/weather conditions vary neighbor to neighbor. I grow Yellow Bulbine in Ojai and I live in an area that get's quite cold (down to the 20's at night). I have had it for over 8 years. At the most this plant will have some frost damage on the tips of the foliage. It has NEVER completely died. I have this plant in a pot at my cabin in Big Bear, too. I love it. I can go away for months/weeks and NEVER have to water it. I am not sure why 2QandLearn is giving it a neutral score. Perhaps, s/he needs to stick with artificial plants. Bulbine is hardier than most plants. Hopefully s/he will give Bulbine a shot (isn't that what gardening is all about - experimenting?) and actually report on her/his first hand experience growing it!

Neutral 2QandLearn On Jan 15, 2012, 2QandLearn from Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just saw an ad on Craigslist for the yellow flowered type, & wanted to find out how hardy it is, so went searching, & found this tidbit:

"Bulbine frutescens"
- "Survives to 20F or below but foliage is damaged."

The reason I am 'neutral' is because I had yet to grow it.

I have begun to suspect that some cuttings I was recently gifted are this plant though. I suspect that I will be able to report a positive experience soon. (:

Positive LisaMD On Aug 1, 2011, LisaMD from Victor Harbor
Australia wrote:

This is a wonderful dry area plant which does not tolerate wet soggy roots in winter. If you live in an area with high winter rainfall, pot or even hang naked rooted in a dry storage area to plant out in spring. This plant can be substituted for aloe vera as a medicinal plant as it has all the same qualities without the thorns. Break off a peice and use on burns or scratches, has spf factor of 6, so you can dab juice on your exposed areas when in the sun. Made into a tincture one can add to burn creams and ointments and helps those non malignant skin cancers too.

Neutral Ticker48 On Mar 21, 2011, Ticker48 from Austin, TX wrote:

My orange African Bulbine grew great all last year from Spring to winter but now seems to be dead. It is all mushy & very brown. I did clip back back all the long stems (deadhead) during late winter. Does anyone know if she is just in dormant stage or a goner? It was a beautiful plant for many months until winter. We did have some cold nights but this is TX so they weren't too bad.
Any advice or thoughts is appreciated!

Positive ogrejelly On Mar 10, 2010, ogrejelly from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Stunning plant (orange more than yellow) when contrasted aganst the rich dark green of the plant. It thrived in Phoenix area for seven months then got beat down by the full sun. It was in a full sun spot and it was just too much for the plant.

I planted two more in filtered sun under a mesquite and they are doing very well and made it through the summer. The other nice thing about this plant is that it seems to bloom very frequently (had flowers in Feb here in PHX) and it is very neat. Zero mess plant.

Positive fullsun007 On Jul 26, 2009, fullsun007 from Gainesville, FL wrote:

I have both the Tangerine and the yellow forms in my yard. The yellow seems to bloom around April-May while the tangerine form will bloom constantly through the height of summer. Both forms of this plant are located in full sun (zone 8B) they received no protection during the winter. This past winter we had 2 nights with back to back temperatures of 21oF and this did not phase them at all, and they remained green all winter. Once established these plants are very xerophytic and adored by bees. I would say that these plants are slightly more hardy than there zone 9A recommendation and well worth trying in zone 8B.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gilbert, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Alpine, California
Huntington Beach, California
Ojai, California
Sacramento, California
Simi Valley, California
Beverly Hills, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Lake Mary, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Metairie, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Youngsville, Louisiana
Livonia, Michigan
Ocean Springs, Mississippi (2 reports)
Austin, Texas
Como, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Hallettsville, Texas
Houston, Texas
Portland, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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