Eucomis Oakhurst

mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)December 21, 2010

Hello all - been away from the group for a bit with holiday shopping, etc. and finally finding time to sit down and post!

I bought a Eucomis Oakhurst plant last summer, as the description and pic of the flower on the care tag intrigued me. I thought it would do well on my front porch during the summer, as it gets a lot of sun. But it actually didn't seem to do very well, as the foliage never turned the dark burgundy described and it never bloomed.

Well, once the temps started dropping, I moved it indoors for the winter (and hoping next year I could find a spot it would like better). Well, lo and behold, it started a bud shoot!! It's been a couple of weeks, I guess, since I first noticed the shoot. Wow! This thing grows really fast - I can almost see it growing right before my eyes!!

Here's a picture I took on Sunday, the 19th. I had to put a stick near the shoot because it was getting so heavy I thought it would break. You can roughly see how far the top of the bloom is from the top of the stick (may 2 inches below):

From garden

Here's a pic I took tonight - it's about 3 1/2 inches OVER the top of the stick now!!

From garden

I can't wait to see the bloom open, which should be pretty soon :^) I guess it just didn't like the heat and dryness outside this summer, where I had it. I'll need to find a more protected area for it next year and see if it will do better - but I am so pleased to see it happy now, if it wants to wait to bloom in winter inside from now on, that's fine with me!

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wufflespring(5)

Don't forget to post photos after it blooms! I'm looking forward to seeing it - that is gorgeous!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 10:34AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

That is very cool. I actually had to look up what it was, a pineapple lily. I guess they are from South Africa. I don't know what the climate is like there, so don't know why it wasn't happy outside. Thanks for giving us something to look at besides our semi brown lawns!
Barb

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 7:47PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

South Africa has several major climates (one of the reasons it is so rich for ornamental plants) but in general much of it is a Mediterranean climate - dry hot summer, cool wet winter.

I don't know much about the Cape Floristic Province, so can't really speak to this particular plant, which appears to have several spp in the genus that live in summer-wet areas, which would be at elevation. Fortunately in this zone it must be in a pot, so harder to kill. ;o)

Dan

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 10:54AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Yes, I don't know why it didn't seem to like my front porch. It gets plenty of sun and heat. But the purple on the leaves it had when I bought it quickly faded, and it often wilted with the heat, and it definitely didn't like some of the winds that whipped it around a few times.

It's leaves are still green, but this bloom is amazing. I thought maybe I was imaging how fast the stalk is growing, so I've been measuring it each day now. It is growing at a rate of about an inch a day!

Here's a shot taken on 12/22 morning - 6" above the stick:
From garden

And here's one I took just a few minutes ago - now 7" above!
From garden

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 8:54AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Oops, I meant the first photo was take on the 23rd (not the 22nd).

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 8:56AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Christmas morning, and it's grown another inch:
From garden

From garden

The first buds are starting to open, nice Christmas surprise!
From garden

Merry Christmas everyone!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 11:09AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Update - these photos were taken today. Total bloom stalk (from base of plant to top of bloom) is 30+" tall.

Found a couple of new plant shoots are starting up - yeah!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 7:50PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

That is one beautiful plant. Thanks for updating us with it's progress. Does it have a fragrance?

On an unrelated note, I think it was you that I got snapdragons from at the fall swap. When the weather turned colder I brought them in and put them in a big pot with black batatas and some non-cold hardy grasses I bought by mistake. The snaps are blooming profusely, all yellow.
I wanted to thank you for that!
Barb

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 8:42AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Unfortunately, the Pineapple Lily does not have a fragrance. But it does make up for it in it's size and presentation! It is still continuing to grow at about 1" a day - I may have to get a bigger stake to support it!!

Oh, that's so nice to hear the Snapdragons are doing so well (I was the one who brought them to the fall swap)!! Thanks for letting us know, Barb :^) What are "black batatas"?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 9:13AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Batatas are sweet potato vines. They're ornamental, no spuds grow under them. They are actually more of a purple than black and there is a lighter green variety, too. The flowers on the blacks are a neon pink with a purple center, kind of morning glory flower shaped. Mine aren't flowering, so I appreciate the snaps all the more.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 6:34PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

So almost every floret is open now! The bloom itself is about 14" tall, the complete stalk is 33" + (because the bottom curved out a bit, it's actually taller than this). I also noticed some nectar beading up on the florets - too bad I don't have any hummingbirds or bees inside to enjoy it!!

So although my plants' leaves aren't purple like they are suppose to be, it does appear to be happy :^). I've noticed that it is very sensitive to heat - I've pulled the blinds up trying to get it more sun, but then the leaves will wilt (apparently the sun being too bright/hot for it). So I may try putting a plant light on it instead of trying to get it more of the natural sun, and see if the leaves will "purple up".

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 7:24PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

It's beautiful, Misty! I think I'd be a little wilty too after giving birth to that bloom!
Maybe the light intensity at our altitude is too much for it?
Thanks for keeping us updated!
A side note, I wish they'd fix the zone issue on GW. I feel like an idiot when I realize I forgot to fix it...again!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:09PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

My Pineapple Lily flower has lasted a month, from when the first florets started opening! It's is now showing signs of age, but also showing signs of seed formation!!!

Here you can see different sized pods forming in each of the florets:

And here's a close up of the largest pod:

I did some googling, and found a site that has info on Pineapple Lily propagation - from seed, leaf cuttings, and removing offsets: http://mrbrownthumb.blogspot.com/2007/08/when-i-collect-pineapple-lily-seeds.html

Not sure how the flowers got pollinated since it's been indoors, but assuming it has since it looks like seed pods are forming - would they form if it wasn't pollinated??? I'll wait and see I guess - it'll be exciting to find out!! I'm going to try the leaf propagation as well, but need to wait until spring or summer to do that (according to that site).

If I'm successful with any of my propagation attempts, I'll be sure to share some at one of the swaps!

Marj
If I don't get any seeds this year, I'll get out a brush and play the bee's part next bloom time ;^)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:23PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Posted by treebarb on Thu, Jan 6, 11 at 21:09

It's beautiful, Misty! I think I'd be a little wilty too after giving birth to that bloom!

Treebarb - I forgot to tell how much I loved your comment!!

:^D
Marj

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:49PM
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b2alicia(zone 5 Westminster)

Oh Marj!

What a gorgeous plant!
And so interesting that it prefers being inside! Maybe it just got lonely outside, and prefers being inside around you for company!
:)

Great photos, too!

Betty

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 11:21PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Misty! I hope it makes up for something stupid I will no doubt say in the future!
Good luck with the propagation!
Barb

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:24AM
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