Flowering this week: Eucomis or pineapple lily

Neither pineapple nor lily, this burgundy coloured eucomis is a feature in our summer garden

Our best guess is that this is a good form of Eucomis comosa, possibly a hybrid. It actually has nothing to do with pineapples or lilies because it is a bulb from South Africa and belongs to the hyacinth family. But the flower with top knot is seen as resembling a pineapple and that may be more PC than referencing caricatures of certain indigenous tribes who favoured top knots. The bulbs are big fist-sized affairs and build up quite readily in well drained, sunny positions. Each bulb makes a large clump so it is a plant for the summer herbaceous border where it has room to spread out and where it doesn’t matter that it leaves a bare area when it dies off in autumn. The long-lived flowers are apparently widely used in floral work and because the eucomis is happy to grow in covered houses, flowering seasons can be extended.

Our eucomis has leaves which are a subtle blend of burgundy and brown with a green undertone, bright burgundy flower stems and buds opening to a scented lilac flower with lovely yellow anthers. Green forms of eucomis are more common and there has been a range of dwarf eucomis hybrids introduced in recent years. This is a genus that lends itself to hybridising and it is generally an easy garden plant in our favoured conditions here in Taranaki.

2 thoughts on “Flowering this week: Eucomis or pineapple lily

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Don’t know Jill, I’m afraid. You would have to ask at your local garden centre, hort society, search Trade Me or try mail order perennial nurseries. I can’t offer any short cuts.

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