Eucomis, neither Pineapple nor Lily, but bulbous perennials in the family Asparagaceae native to Southern Africa – these exotic looking plants form one of our newest National Plant Collections held at National Trust Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. On our way North for a few days holiday, this was an ideal point to break the journey and view the Collection which is just coming into flower.
Hardwick Hall is set high on a the eastern side of a valley above the M1 and was the home of Bess of Hardwick – four times married and also responsible for Chatsworth, ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire. Ian Hunt met us in the garden and took us into the glasshouse so that we could appreciate the flowers at close quarters.
There is a complete listing of the Collection, also showing which species are still outstanding.
Ian propagates with leaf cuttings
The flowers really are very exotic looking but are frost hardy in the South of the country, as I find in my garden.
As this is a species Collection Ian is keen to get material from as many sources as possible for comparison, so when I mentioned that I have Eucomis comosa in my garden, Ian asked me if I could spare some material. So when the leaves die back in the autumn I’ll be sending off a bulb – a bit of a thrill to be sourcing material for a National Plant Collection.
To finish, a beautiful cultivar, Eucomis bicolor ‘Alba’