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Garden Photo of the Day

Pineapple Lilies

A gardener shares images of one of her favorite plants

Barbara Cain of Norwell, Massachusetts, sent in these images of one of her favorite plants.

Eucomis comosaSparkling Burgundy‘ is a tender bulb in New England (hardy in Zones 8–11) and is sometimes called pineapple lily. The foliage is a rosette of dark burgundy straplike leaves. It can be 24 inches wide, with a flower stalk of 20 inches or so. It is a stunning accent in the sunny garden. I started with one bulb from Plant Delights Nursery years ago and now have four plants. I dig the bulb after a frost and let the foliage dry out before storing it in my basement. To keep flowers from flopping, I plant in leaner soil with good drainage, though I often stake the blossom.

More information on Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ is here.

One alternative to staking the flower stems if they get floppy is cutting them and putting them in a vase. This species of pineapple lily has flowers with a pleasant scent to them, but be warned that some of the other species are pollinated by flies and so have flowers that smell rather unpleasant.

A closer look at the flower spike. The little tuft of small green leaves at the end of the flower spike are the source of the common name “pineapple lily.”

An even closer look at the green flowers. The flowers are a lighter greenish yellow—although they are sometimes flushed with pink when young—before they age to a darker green. They’re beautiful at any stage.

A flower spike with the whole plant. The bold, red-flushed leaves are just as desirable as the flowers with this plant. The brightest red colors develop with plenty of sun and good drainage.

Pineapple lilies are just one of many tender bulbs and perennials that gardeners in cold climates can overwinter in a cool basement to save on having to buy them again next year. What plants do you like to overwinter indoors? Send us some pictures!

 

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To submit, send 5-10 photos to GPOD@finegardening.com along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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Comments

  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/14/2018

    Kudos to you, Barbara, for not only keeping your originally purchased one alive and well but even thriving. Is the reason that you are now up to 4 plants because your "mama" one has given you bulb offsets to separate and nurture? Seems like you have found the sweet spot for them to grow and multiply.

    1. BeesKnees123 11/15/2018

      Hello Michaela, Thanks for the nice response to my photos. The bulbs have had offsets some years and I do separate them. I would like to mention that the flowers are really pink and the photos were of the stalks after they went to seed. They are beautiful either way.

  2. cheryl_c 11/14/2018

    Good morning, Barbara! Nice focus on an unusual plant. I just purchased my first eucomis, Oakhurst, (reportedly hardy to zone 6 for some gardeners) and got it planted pretty well, but we've now had unusually early very cold weather (10 degrees this morning in a zone 6b area...) so I'm fearful I may have lost it due to its recent planting. It is in gravel, so the drainage, at least, won't be the problem! Cross your fingers for me! And send me some of your gardening energy!

    1. BeesKnees123 11/15/2018

      Hi, I'm not familiar with that variety but now that you mention the hardiness issue I remembered that I forgot one in the ground one year and it did come back much to my surprise!
      I'm happy to send you some gardening energy!

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