I bought 3 of the yellow-flowering species in 4-inch pots in early March for our new backyard border. The clumps, which spread by rhizomes, have expanded significantly, now measuring about one foot (30.5cm) in diameter, and they may double their size at maturity. My plants are currently under one foot tall but the flower spikes grow up to 2 feet (61cm) tall.
I picked up 2 of the somewhat smaller orange-flowered variety, 'Hallmark,' in late May to replace 2 shrimp plants (Justicia brandegeeana) pulverized by May's heat.
They grow in full sun to light shade. Despite their name, these are not bulbous plants. They hail from the coastal area of South Africa and are known by a variety of common names, including jelly burn plant, snake flower and cat's tail. The name "jelly burn plant" derives from the fact that the succulent foliage contains glycoproteins, like some Aloe, and can be used to treat burns, rashes and itches. They're reported to be hardy to 20F (-6.67C). At 10F (-12C), the foliage will die down to the ground but the plant can come back from its roots.
In very hot interior areas, the plant may stop blooming during summer months but should begin blooming again once the temperatures cool in the fall. Mine weren't bothered by the May heatwaves but June was relatively cool here and it remains to be seen whether or not they'll continue to bloom at the same rate through a sustained period of hot weather.
The plants provide a bright touch of color in the border and need very little in the way of care. Bulbine frutescens is my contribution to Loree's favorite plants meme at danger garden this week. Click here to see her favorite and to find links to other gardener's selections.