Eucomis ‘Comosa’ aka Pineapple Lily


Eucomis 'Comosa'
FRG plant sale purchase

I forgot that I had bought this small bag at Fellows Riverside gardens plant sale last week. It contains three large bulbs of Eucomis ‘Comosa’ or pineapple lily. My shopping buddy came upon the table of summer bulbs in bags. We’d never heard of it before and that alone made it interesting and a candidate for purchase. But this plant has huge flower spikes guaranteed to attract kids! Said shopping buddy is also a master gardener involved in Sunplace Special: A Children’s Garden; she designs, plants and tends the Bird & Butterfly Garden at Sunplace Special. She was certain we needed this for Sunplace Special! The bag cost $7 for three large bulbs. How could we resist? 3 bulbs for $7!

The informational paper attached to the bag said:

Eucomis ‘Comosa’ Pineapple Lily 

Dense spike of green, purple and white, sweetly scented flowers that butterflies adore. Conical flower head with fragrant florets topped with a tuft of green leaves resembling a pineapple. Eye-catching in a garden and can be planted in a container. Plant in well-drained soil. Critter resistant. Sun/Part Shade

My Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Gardening, fourth edition corroborates this, saying of the South African native: “Eucomis is from the Greek for beautiful topknot, from the leafy tuft at the end of the flower cluster.”

I was put in charge of the bag until we research their needs and decide their best location. Here’s some of the information I gathered so far:

  • The flower can grow to an impressive two-foot purple, green, and white raceme in late summer. Research says to plant it six inches deep and one foot apart.
  • Despite the description on the bag, some called the flower’s scent “unpleasant” or “funky.”
  • In our Ohio garden we will need to lift and store the bulb over winter. This makes it a good candidate for a container because it can then be easily stored.

Have you ever seen or grown this plant? If so please let me know your impressions and experiences.  I’ll let you know how we plant it soon.

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