Eucomis is a southern African genus in the Hyacinthaceae family. The name is derived from the Greek word Eukomos, meaning "Beautifully Haired". Plants are commonly known as Pineapple lilies because in many of the species the blooms resemble a pineapple. They often have an unpleasant scent since they are pollinated by flies. Most of the species are found in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa, some at higher elevations. In cultivation they have proved to be hardy to frost, especially if planted deeply or protected during their dormancy by snow. They are best grown in the shade and given regular water during growth. This is especially true of plants grown in sun as otherwise the leaves will become limp.
Eucomis comosa is found in grassland and marshes from the south-eastern Cape into KwaZulu-Natal. Leaves are purple below with wavy or crisped margins and the flowers are greenish with purplish ovaries. Eucomis comosa grows both in dry and damp areas and is 20 to 60 cm. tall. It has long strap like leaves. Many forms are in cultivation, and the leaves can be quite variable in colour, from light green to a dark burgundy. Flowers are usually white, but sometimes pinky, or purplish.
USDA Zone - 7
Season to Sow - Spring
Photos with credit to the late Rod and Rachel Saunders, eminent experts on South African indigenous flora.
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