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Pineapple Lily | A Pollinator to Attract Bees and Butterflies to the Garden


Pineapple Lily | A Pollinator to Attract Bees and Butterflies to the Garden

Pineapple Lily (Eucomis spp.)

I was introduced to the pineapple lily years ago while visiting a friend’s garden and fell in love instantly because of its uniqueness. My friend had them growing as border plants and the bi-colored flowers growing from green bracts brought out a certain visual appeal to her perennial garden.

Eucomis, also known as Pineapple Lily and King’s Flower, is a low maintenance summer-flowering bulb and is native to South Africa. It is not a true lily, of course, nor is part of the pineapple family, but it’s aptly named due to its resemblance to pineapple tops. The bulbs begin to grow in early summer and produces green vertical bracts from the base (1 ½ to 2 inches width and space). The flowers begin to bloom during late summer and the colors can range from white, pale green, violet, yellow, pink, purple and orange depending on the cultivar.

Pineapple Lily prefers full sun and well-draining soil rich with organic matter. Its watering needs are moderate and will not tolerate soggy soil. Bulbs should be planted a minimum of 12 inches apart and 4-5 inches deep. These bulbs grow very well in containers (make sure the tips are at the soils surface. If grown in cooler areas, the bulbs will need to be dug up and moved inside during the winter months.

The flowers produce a scent that lures pollinating bees, butterflies and beneficial flies. Once the flowers stop producing, purple seeds appear and are prized for their additional ornamental value. Pineapple lilies will bring a bit of tropical flair and intrigue to any perennial garden or woodland site.

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