Xerophyta retinervis

Xerophyta retinervis

Common Names

Black-stick lily (english)
Bobbejaanstert (afrikaans)
sifunti (swazi)
isigqumana (zulu)
isiphmba (zulu)


Genus Xerophyta
Species retinervis
SA Plant Number
Basionym Xerophyta retinervis


Xerophyta retinervis is a hardy, deciduous, slow growing, perennial plant that has blackened, hairy stems. In the winter months they look as if they have been burnt and in a lot of cases have actually been burnt. They are totally transformed in the early summer (September to November), when they sprout long, strap-shaped leaves that look like grass growing in tufts at the tips of stems, resembling a fountain. They are then covered with masses of big, white to mauve, lily-like scented, flowers on slender stems. They flower in profusion after fire. Probably best grown as a specimen plant in wide, shallow containers, it also provides the ideal base for many species of indigenous epiphytic orchids and ferns. This is not an easy plant to grow as it is classed as a resurrection plant and the roots should never be broken or disturbed. Prefers full sun, or light shade from surrounding rock or grasses

Size: Up to 1.5m




Striking specimen plant for a container.


Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal


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