|Image credit - http://www.southafricanbulbs.com/|
Commonly known as the pineapple lily, Eucomis bicolor is a highly ornamental, low-growing flowering bulb from the Asparagaceae family. Native to Lesotho, South Africa it is a frost-tender perennial which will either need to be protected by a thick mulch over winter of brought in under protection in a frost-free environment when grown in cooler, northern European climates.
|Image credit - http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/|
When new growth emerges in the spring it will form a large basal rosette of strap-shaped leaves which can reach between 10 and 50 cm in height depending on the species or cultivar. They are often seen spotted purple at the base.
However Eucomis bicolor is best noted for its dense raceme of star-shaped flowers which emerge on an erect stem during late summer and early autumn and topped by a crown of leafy bracts. Once in bloom the flower display will appear of a comparatively long 6-8 weeks.The overall flower effect is reminiscent of a pineapple fruit, which explains the common name.
Eucomis bicolor plants are usually purchased as pre-packed bulbs in the early spring or later on in the summer as pot grown specimens. Plant the bulbs 15cm deep in a fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. In temperate climates they will require a sheltered position in full sun, or grown in pots containing a good quality compost such as John Innes 'No 2'. Eucomis bicolor will tolerate some shade, but the best flowering and foliage colour will occur in full sun.
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