4 in stock

Dermatobotrys saundersii (Tree Jockey)

Tree Jockey is a RARE indigenous succulent that is very unique as it is considered as an air plant. It bears beautiful red tubular flowers between July to December. It is an excellent container plant and can also be planted between the forks of trees.


4 in stock

Use growing conditions and pictures as a guide only.

Description: Indigenous Epiphytic Succulent
Common name: Tree Jockey
Scientific name: Dermatobotrys saundersii Bolus ex Oliv
Synonym: Billbergia nutans
Sunlight requirements: Part Sun/ Bright Indirect Light
Foliage Characteristics: Semi-Deciduous
Height: 1m
Width: 0.3m-1m
Container plant: Yes
Miscellaneous: Rare
Hardiness: Moderate
Attract Birds & Bees: Sunbirds
Flower colour: Red
Flower time: June to December

Part of the Scrophulariaceae Family, Dermatobotrys saundersii, commonly known as the Tree Jockey, is a unique and relatively rare succulent. Dermatobotrys saundersii are indigenous to South Africa where it can be found in coastal scarp forests from southern Zululand to the Transkei and even in Madagascar. It commonly grows between the forks of trees where humus has gathered giving it its common name as Tree Jockey. They sometimes can be found on forest floor and it is believed that their seed is scattered by small arboreal mammals.

It is regarded as semi-deciduous depending on the temperature of the environment. Tree Jockeys tend to lose little to none leaves in warmer and indoor positions. During June to December, it flowers sporadically with long red tubular flowers believed to be pollinated by sunbirds. After flowering they bear small oval like fruit filled with tiny seeds and sweet pulp. Whether the fruit are edible is still under debate.

The Tree Jockey is a shrub like plant that grow excellent in containers. The plant can also be planted between forks of trees with sufficient humus or even in a moss ball. It can be grown indoors or outdoors and needs to be protected from frost. It can grow in full sun to bright indirect light however partial sun is considered to be the best position.

It is easy to propagate Dermatobotrys saundersii by either sowing seeds or by cuttings. It is important they have well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They can be fed monthly during the growing season. Do not over water.

Dermatobotrys is the only taxon in its genus and derive its name from the Latin derma meaning 'skin', and botrys meaning 'bunch of grapes'. The species name is named after Sir Charles James Renault Saunders who is said to be the first collector of Dermatobotrys saundersii.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 17 × 17 × 40 cm
Pot Planting Size