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Eucomis

Family: Liliaceae
Common name: Pineapple plant

Origin: South Africa

Flower color: yellow, green, white.

Flowering period: July - August

Average plant height: 12 – 24 inches

Planting depth to base of bulbs: covered with a thin layer of soil

Spacing between bulbs: 6 inches

Type of bulb: true bulb

Light requirements: full sun (morning sun)

Landscape uses: border, beds and very suitable for planting in pots and containers

The inflorescence is a spike bearing masses of little flowers. On top of the inflorescence is a rosette of young green leaves. The flowers produce a lot of nectar so they attract many bees. Eucomis is only winter hardy in sheltered areas where they are protected with a mulch during the winter months. Very suitable as a pot plant which can be brought inside during the winter after it has died back. Do not start watering again until signs of growth appear. Eucomis is indigenous to the wet slopes of mountains in South Africa.

Their exotic look and pale flower color makes the Eucomis a good border plant. They provide the late summer and fall garden with an added dimension.

In a pot

The Eucomis simply has to be the perfect plant for growing in pots. They can then be treated as tub plants. One condition, however, is that the pots should be large enough and, even more importantly, deep enough. Ordinary potting soil works perfectly for this purpose. Make sure the pots have effective drainage holes, preferably both in the bottom and low on the sides of the pots. A layer of clay granules in the bottom of the pot is ideal. Remember that large quantities of water must be provided in the summer and that the regular provision of extra nutrients is also required. The pots can be placed outside in April and brought inside in October after flowering. They can spend the winter in a frost-free location with hardly any need for water. Using a pot plant like the Eucomis as a specimen plant – unsurrounded by other plants - really makes it a special feature.

Principal varieties

  • Eucomis bicolor – green 
  • Eucomis comosa (syn. E. punctata, a specific epithet that means “tufted”) – mixed green/white 
  • Eucomis bicolor alba - white
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