PINEAPPLE LILY, PINEAPPLE FLOWER
Sunset zones 4-9, 14-24.
USDA zones: 8-10.
Height: 30 inches (75 cm).
Twelve inch long purple striped stems (30 cm) bearing racemes of white star-shaped flowers with purple edged tepals and purple ovaries. A tuft of green bracts at the top of the flower makes the cluster of flowers resemble a pineapple.
Twenty-eight inches long (70 cm) by 3-4 inches wide (8-10 cm) strap-shaped, light green leaves with purple spotting underneath.
Full sun to light shade.
Well-drained, fertile soil with plenty of humus.
Fertilize in spring with a complete organic fertilizer.
In spring or fall sow seed at 61°F (16°C).
Divide in spring every 5-6 years.
Remove offsets in spring.
Rainy Side Notes
A South African native, the name Eucomis comes from the Greek word eukomos, meaning lovely-haired, in reference to a crown of bracts on the flower. Although it is easy to start from seed, it can take two to five years before the plant reaches blooming size. After the blossoms fade, the purple seed capsules carry on the show. From spring to fall, this handsome bulb is great looking in the mixed border. The flowers are excellent as cut flowers with a long vase-life.
Plant bulbs six inches deep (15 cm) and one foot apart (30 cm) in the fall. Here in our climate of the Pacific Northwest, you can plant in spring after danger of frost is past. When planting throw in a handful of bone meal and mix with the soil. This perennial will come back year after year, giving a tropical look to the garden. To grow Eucomis in a container, plant at a depth where the neck of the bulb is barely peeking out of the soil.
Photographed in author's garden.