Pineapple Lily Eucomis bicolor Ref: PIN0042
Pineapple Lily Eucomis bicolor Ref: PIN0025
Pineapple Lily Eucomis bicolor Ref: PIN0016
Pineapple Lily Detail of leaf, stem & bulb Ref: PIN0059
THE UNASSUMING PINEAPPLE LILY
The pineapple lily (Eucomis bicolor), how it's underestimated. This easy-to-grow plant has such depth - from it's intricately marked stem, it's spotted leaves (on the underside only), to it's beautiful tiny flowers topped with what looks like a pineapple-top fringe. Even the buds of this exotic looking plant are outlined with purple. True artistry in nature.
Not only that, it is so easy to grow. This is not to be recommended but here's my experience with this plant. I bought one bulb from my local value shop for about £2, two years ago. I planted it in the border, but nothing happened the first year other than it produced a lot of foliage taking up a lot of space. Rather disgruntled I dug it up and threw it into a plant pot that was just a quarter full of soil. It sat on the top together with some other odd bulbs and was left outside all winter, through heavy frosts and freezing conditions. However, this hardy little bulb, to my surprise, come spring, started to grow, forming new leaves and then a flower bud. Poor thing it was utterly neglected but I still didn't give it a helping hand, the bulb was completely bare and still resting on top of the soil, the soil must have been depleted of goodness and it seemed the only thing keeping it alive were its roots having found their way into the minuscule amount of soil. I watched it grow day by day, giving it a splash of water from the hosepipe, when I remembered. I really don't know how, but it managed to evolve into the most beautiful and perfectly formed flower and I feel humbled that despite it's mistreatment, it not only survived but thrived!! I feel ashamed that I treat it so poorly.
So now the question is, for another similar bloom next year - do I neglect it or nurture it?