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Botanical name: Bulbine frutescens 'Hallmark' (syn. Bulbine caulescens)
Common name: Snake flower, Bulbine, cat’s tail, Bulbine lily, Hallmark Bulbine, Hallmark cat's whiskers, burn jelly plant
USDA zones: 8-10 see climate-zone map
Water requirement: Low once established
Sun requirement: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 1’-2’ tall x 2’ spread
Tolerances: Drought, no significant pest problems, deer resistant, soil
Environmental benefits: Flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds
Distinguishing traits. While this plant has all the low-maintenance and water-wise benefits that come from being a succulent, its graceful arching form and colorful buds complement more than just the desert modern garden. Fleshy green leaves shoot up 6 to 8 inches with golden flower stalks rising high above the foliage. 'Hallmark' blooms spring through fall, and year round in some climates.
Smaller and more compact than the straight snake flower species, the real distinguishing difference is color. 'Hallmark' produces an orange bloom while the straight species flowers are yellow. Here you can see orange 'Hallmark' planted next to the original.
How to use it. Small floral clusters make 'Hallmark' a perfect orange accent for gardens of all color and style. Contrast cool and muted colors of a clean succulent garden or complement the bold green foliage of a tropical sanctuary with 'Hallmark' buds. Kelly suggests pairing with succulents, lavender, lambs ears, Euphorbia and lavender cotton, among other drought-tolerant plants. “I just love to use Bulbine frutscens 'Hallmark' in some of the gardens I design when I want a splash of orange/yellow color, without overpowering the companion plantings,” she says.
Plant Hallmark in a mass, in a rock garden, or even in a living wall. For such a delicate-looking flower, this perennial is pretty tough and can survive in most applications. Imagine a sea of orange cascading down your difficult backyard slope or even a minor hint of tangerine peaking up from inside a planter in your kitchen.
Keep it growing. There isn’t a whole lot that needs to be done after getting this plant in the ground. This cultivar is less heat tolerant than the straight species and frost-hardy to around 20 degrees Farenheit. 'Hallmark' will regrow in spring if frost damaged during winter. Keep its soil well-drained and spent flower stalks deadheaded, and 'Hallmark' will continue its profuse flame of flowers yearly.
More great design plants:
Toyon | Black Mondo Grass | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass | Red Kangaroo Paw | Blue Chalk Sticks | Catmint | Slipper Plant
Great design trees:
Manzanita | Japanese Maple | Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Bald Cypress | Tree Aloe