Pineapple lilies

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.

Eucomis zambesiaca

Eucomis zambesiaca

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.

Ian Hunt

There is a complete listing of the Collection, also showing which species are still outstanding.

List of plants

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’

Eucomis bicolor 'Alba'

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2 Responses to Pineapple lilies

  1. Maggie Thorpe says:

    really interesting Gillian – will definitely try leaf cuttings in future.
    Maggie, Suffolk

  2. Also in the Derbyshire area and open to the public 18th August, Derby City Council’s hydrangea collection at Darley Park. Make a full day of it and see both!

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