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Pineapple Lilies (Eucomis)
(Eucomis) This fragrant South African native has tropical-looking, fleshy leaves with flower spikes that appear to be miniature “pineapples” at the top of each stem. (Sorry, not edible.) Hundreds of waxy, one inch starry flowers are perfectly shaped, mostly edged in maroon and begin opening from the bottom up.
Useful in bright sun with regular water during active growth, but protect from saturating winter-to-spring rains. (e.g. Plant under a roof overhang or in pots.) Bulbs emerge late in spring, grow rapidly and flower for 6 weeks with interesting seedpods continuing to frost. Full sun preferred, but light shade in hot climates is acceptable. It is perfectly normal for leaves to "wilt" a bit during the hot midday, but don't worry, they perk up again the next morning.
A marvelous cut flower, stems stay fresh for weeks, but you should change water at least weekly in vases. Hardy to USDA Zone 6 to 7 with an insulating mulch or lift bulbs to store in a frost-free location. (We have bulbs against our house, Zone 7/8, in a slightly raised bed, protected from our winter rainfall of 50+ inches.) Sent to you bare root, plant our large, heavy bulbs after danger of deep frost is past and soil begins to warm (e.g. May in Seattle), spacing 6 to 10 inches apart, covered with 4 inches of fluffy, amended soil. If desired, light mulch after top growth begins.
Eucomis are long-lived and although they prefer to be left undisturbed, offsets can be detached from the mother bulb in fall, taking an additional two years before the babies flower. Bulbs guaranteed true-to-name, not for failure to bloom first summer, overwatering or for winter loss.
Pots: Cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil, on the dry side, until top growth appears, then move into bright light and begin watering, keep soil slightly moist, not soggy, to avoid rot. Use fresh potting soil each year for best results. No high nitrogen fertilizer, instead use a mild balanced formula, as for cactus.
Wild Lily bulbs making up the genus Lilium belong to the family Liliaceae comprising of approximately 200 genera made up of approximately 2,000 lily species. There are in the neighborhood of 110 to 120 Lilium species depending on whose classification you reference. For the full article, click Knowledge Base