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Friday, August 08, 2008

Pineapple Lily. Pineapple Flower.

Last year my daughter bought some plants from the tropical plant vendor at the OC Fair. I have to admit I unkindly scoffed at the time, saying with authority "Those damned things never live." Well, a few of those things didn't live, but this Pineapple Lily (maybe Eucomis bicolor, they never label anything correctly) certainly did well. It was potted last summer in a smallish (10") orange glazed pot. It put out leaves, which then died down, and reappeared in early spring. Just in time it's enormous flower spike emerged, and so it was entered into the fair. It was awarded 2nd place (woot woot), and is now busy setting seeds on the front porch. Fun plant. I suppose we'll need to divide it and repot this winter, along with trying to start some seeds.

About 3 years ago I purchased a lovely organically grown pineapple. My husband scoffed and said, "Just remember to eat it before it rots and attracts flies." I did remember, it was very tasty, and I put the twisted-off leafy top into water to see if it would grow. Sure enough, it put out crisp, long, healthy roots in a matter of days. I potted it up, trucked it to the back yard and over time kind of forgot about it under the kumquat tree. Much to my surprise, but right on cue, a flower had formed (I guess technically it's an inflorescence comprised of multiple flowers). I read somewhere, probably in Sunset Western Garden Book, that pineapples flower when they are three years old. I feel so fulfilled; although it's not likely anything edible will come of the flower, it's beautiful, fun and cool that it flowered at the same time as it's namesake the pineapple lily.

1 comment:

Min said...

super cool! I am an Aussie in Chiang Mai and just looked up pineapple flower because the things are everywhere here and I realised I know nothing about them. Neat post and good pics, I feel better informed now and my hear was warmned by your story. Good one!!