Barbara Cain of Norwell, Massachusetts, sent in these images of one of her favorite plants.
Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling 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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