I have now managed to gather enough background information to actually start writing my essay but having written the introductory paragraph it all went blank again. Which resulted with my staring aimlessly out of my window at my now rather sad looking Eucomis. Eucomis, also now as the pineapple flower, are another of my favourite plants despite only discovering them a few years ago while tidying out one of my dads greenhouses. At the back in amongst a mass of pelargoniums I found this massive tub full of large leaves and the most bizarre yet fascinating flower spike, the flowers were quite small and densely packed on this thick fleshy stem topped by what look like small leaves (imagine a pineapple and you’re pretty much there). It turned out that we had actually had this Eucomis for years (Eucomis comosa ‘bicolor’) but it hadn’t been put out for display for ages, so I dug it out and some small pots which had also been hiding and put them on display. However, it was not until this year that I realised how advanced the breeding and hybridization of these plants had become. My dad got a dwarf, very dark red one called ‘Octopus’ and then in the autumn ‘The Garden’ ran an article on a collection in the South of England and the range was great. Like all of the South African bulbs they need freely draining soil during the winter months. However, if they don’t drown in the winter they should be hardy although i’d still feel safer growing them in pots. Again ‘The African Garden’ has some good photos.
Another South African Bulb October 30, 2008