Bulbine latifolia is one of the largest species in the genus. It can be identified by its aloe-like growth, but with an absence of marginal teeth on the leaves and elongated racemes bearing small yellow flowers. It is easily grown and can flower in the first season.Conservation Status
Bulbine latifolia is a very common species in the eastern Cape thicket vegetation. It is often a pioneer and attractive flowering en masse.
Bulbine latifolia is widely distributed in the south-eastern parts of South Africa from Knysna in the Western Cape. It is widespread in the Eastern Cape Province, and often found in dry river valleys and rocky gorges. Its grows in soils derived from shale or sandstone, but always on well drained sites. Populations can be seen along the National Road from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown and roads north of Port Elizabeth. It is also often found on cliffs.
Bulbine latifolia is pollinated by insects. The ascending inflorescence with fruiting capsules and winged seed is an adaptation to wind dispersed. Fleshy leaves store water and making it drought tolerant and an ideal water wise garden plant. This plant is well adapted to disturbance such as grazing and trampling as the plants regenerate easily from seed.
Uses and cultural aspects
Bulbine latifolia is popular among the traditional healers. The roots are used, taken orally to quell vomiting and diarrhoea, but also for a number of other ailments (Van Wyk et al 1997).