Pineapple Autumn Ecomuis autumnalisNeither a pineapple nor a true lily, this native of South Africa is related to hyacinths and asparagus but has a tuft of leaves above the flowers that gives them a pineapple sort of look. Over 100 greenish-white flowers are clustered on a stout stalk that appears in summer above a basal rosette of large waxy strap-shaped leaves. When the flowers are fertilized they turn green and remain attractive on the plant for several weeks. When cut, the stalks of flowers also do well for weeks in a vase. Although autumn pineapple can be propagated from seed, it needs up to 5 years to reach blooming size. Great container plant and good for cottage gardens where it will produce handsome clumps.

Type: Bulb

Bloom: Over 100 greenish-white flowers are produced in racemes in summer.

Size: 16-24” H x 12-18” W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, dry or moderately moist but well-drained

Fertilizer: Apply well-rotted compost every spring.

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Low maintenance; mulch in zones 7 and 6.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed possible but requires several years; separate offsets in winter when plants are dormant and plant in spring.

Comments: Bulbs should be planted 6” deep in spring when the soil warms and all danger of frost is past.

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By Karen