Thursday, September 07, 2006

Heavenly scented tuberose

It took a long time but the tuberose [Polianthes tuberosa] we bought last winter is finally going to bloom. The first petal is unfurling and at this stage I can already smell its heady fragrance. We potted the tuber in early spring, set it out when the low temperatures were in the 50's. It took this long for it to set the flowers and bloom but well worth the wait. I don't remember the variety we bought but the buds are nicely blushed with pink.

Now I'm hoping we can save the bulb for next year. One of the bulb books said that it was almost impossible to have the bulb re-flower so it's easier and more reliable to purchase new bulbs. We'll give it a try anyway as an experiment. My botanic book also concurs with the bulb book saying "The clumps should be lifted annually and the large bulbs, which once they flower will not flower again, removed. Propagate from seed." I wonder if they form little offset bulblets? We'll see after the first frost.

Tuberose is native to Central America and is grown in all the temperate countries of the world. It is of the agave family. Here's a website that has a lot of information about the tuberose. And a site for growing them.


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