Photo - Linda Ross
Pineapple Lily, Eucomis comosa
A cut flower wonder that we find easy to grow at home.
Description: this elegant bulb grows with a rosette of fleshy foliage that is green or spotted with purple, and a flowering stem densely covered in greenish-cream flowers, often tinged with purple. The name pineapple lily is derived from the tuft of leafy bracts that top off the flower spike just like the top of a pineapple.
Size: the flower spike reaches 30 – 60cm tall.
Cultivation: eucomis are easy to grow in a warm-temperate to cool climate. They dislike frost and in cold districts may be grown in pots that can be moved into a sheltered position during winter. Bulbs should be planted in winter or early spring, with their tops level or just below the surface of the soil. Choose a sunny spot, sheltered from wind, and enrich the soil with compost or manure. After flower spikes appear, feed the plants regularly with liquid fertiliser and ensure they don’t dry out. They perform best if left undisturbed for years.
Special comments: pineapple lilies are an excellent, long-lasting cut flower and grow readily from seed. Tall flowering spikes may need to be staked.
Text: Libby Cameron
About this articleDate: 20 March 2015 Author: Libby Cameron
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