Monkeys Tail

© Monkeys Tail


Black Stick Lily / Monkey's Tail

Latin Name

Xerophyta viscose


Wispy green leaves appear at the tips in spring. Flowers follow in early summer, about November. Flower size - 5cm long.


The Black Stick Lily is found in rocky outcrops, grasslands and cliffs with shallow soils in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, North-West provinces of South Africa and in Swaziland.

Field Notes

The Black Stick Lily is also known as the Monkey's Tail, a name derived from its Afrikaans name of Bobbejaanï's Stert, which means Baboon's Tail. The plant is resistant to extreme conditions, from cold to drought and fire and they can survive without water for long periods.

The plants are used to treat ailments such as asthma and are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The stems are used to make brushes and rope.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari